December 23, 2013
A local bank is taking a leading role in nurturing future Bahamian leaders and propelling students toward academic excellence, according to The College of The Bahamas (COB).
For a second consecutive year, COB officials lauded The Commonwealth Bank Emerging Leaders Award. Established in 2010 with a $500,000 endowment pledge over 10 years, the award program is already bearing considerable fruit.
In the latest report from COB, five of the 10 recipients of the coveted award achieved Dean's List standing in the past two academic years. Three have graduated.
Students highlighted by COB include Precious Bethell, Brill Carey, Shamara Burrows, Nicolette Knowles, Kenwood Cartwright, Giovanni Clarke, Gailin Rolle and Kendrick Anderson. The recipients of the award span various academic disciplines and hail from islands across the archipelago.
Commonwealth Bank President Ian Jennings said supporting education is a top priority for the institution. Encouraging students to succeed and take pride in their studies, he said, will translate directly into the quality of the Bahamian workforce, allowing this country to better compete in the global arena. "Commonwealth Bank is not just contributing money to education," he noted. “This bank is investing in people and changing lives. By extension, we are investing in the future of our nation."
Anthea B. Cox, Vice President of Human Resources and Training at Commonwealth Bank, said the bank's funding of education in leadership is aimed at contributing to the country's national development. "We at Commonwealth Bank are proud to take a direct role in our children's education. Educating our youth will touch all of us in The Bahamas," according to Mrs. Cox who was among the bank executives attending a COB-hosted ‘Meet the Students’ luncheon in the spring. “Interacting with the students re-affirmed our commitment. It was a real treat to spend time with promising students who demonstrated genuine interest in the future of The Bahamas.”
The Commonwealth Bank Emerging Leaders Award is funding 40 student awards, each valued up to $12,000. Students must be studying full time and have good academic standing and a demonstrated financial need.
The $500,000 award by Commonwealth Bank is just one aspect of the institution's focus on education. At the primary and secondary high school level, the bank has consistently donated equipment to schools, enabling young students to learn in a classroom equipped with the best educational tools available.
In October, Minister of Education Jerome Fitzgerald accepted laptops, LCD projectors, promethean ActivBoards and 10,000 backpacks filled with school supplies on behalf of the government. And prior to the start of the school year, the minister and other officials from Education joined bank officers and staff at the Kendal Isaacs National Gymnasium for the Commonwealth Bank-sponsored 7th annual back-to-school event when hundreds of students received backpacks filled with school supplies. This year, the minister stressed the need for parental involvement and time away from TV and electronic devices.
Commonwealth Bank, known for its community outreach particularly in the area of youth development, is a publicly-held company with some 6,000-plus shareholders and operates branches in New Providence Grand Bahama and Abaco.
COB President Dr. Betsy Vogel Boze (center) receives a cheque from Anthea Cox, Commonwealth Bank’s VP-HR and Training and Ian Jennings, Commonwealth Bank’s President. The donation goes towards The Commonwealth Bank Emerging Leaders Award established in 2010 with a $500,000 endowment pledge over 10 years.