Shevaughn Dell, who started a scholarship fund in memory of a former schoolmate, has become the recipient of the Governor General’s Achievement Award for the parish of Trelawny.
“I am honoured that I was chosen for this award not only for me but also for my peers,” the elated 21-year-old told The Beacon. “It highlights that we as youth and by extension Jamaicans are capable of doing great things. I hope that this recognition inspires the youth of Jamaica to try and make a difference.”
The aspiring doctor, who is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Medicine and Surgery at the University of the West Indies in St Andrew, said he is motivated to serve Jamaica in hopes of seeing positive changes in society.
Despite his many achievements, the young philanthropist believes that it was the Diego Desouza Scholarship Fund that he created to celebrate the life of his schoolmate Diego Desouza that gave him an edge over other nominees.
“The major contribution that qualified me for this award was the fact that, while I was still in high school, I was able to create a scholarship for my Alma Mata…in the name of a student who passed away,” he explained.
Desouza died of natural cause two years ago while he was in third form at Munro College in St Elizabeth, where he and Dell were members of the school’s football team.
“The reason I thought the scholarship should be named off him was because he was a very amiable person and he managed to balance extra-curricular activities and academics which is something that Munro tries to instill in its student,” Dell explained.
The scholarship, which covers the cost of tuition, is awarded annually to an outstanding student who displays a reasonable balance in academics and involvement in extra-curricular activities in keeping with Desouza’s legacy.
Dell shared that the first award was presented to a student at the school’s award ceremony in January and was sponsored by a group of past students.
“I reached out to approximately 60 past students in my graduating class and asked for a small contribution; this money was pooled and presented to a fifth form student,” he said, adding that he is exploring other ways to sustain the scholarship in the future.
Beyond that generous act, Dell has maintained a consistent record of service in his community over the years.
He volunteered his service through several health fairs as well as free tutoring sessions that he offers to Jamaican students preparing to sit CSEC Chemistry exams.
Dell was also captain of the Harmony Youth Club football team in Bounty Hall, Trelawny, where he is from.
A recent project he worked on was the National Student Companion, a mobile application he created with his friend Jesse James to help students transition into the university space. It caters to students enrolled at the University of the West Indies and the University of Technology.
The app, which can be downloaded for free from Google Playstore and Appstore, functions as a navigation system providing students with updates on upcoming events and information about services available near the universities.
“I have always believed that I can make a difference,” Dell told The Beacon. “What motivates me is the desire to be a role model for my siblings as well as the satisfaction I feel when I’m able to make a difference in someone’s life.”
By Jamar Grant, Jamaica Beacon Journalist
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