Two Jamaican residents are getting an opportunity to pursue a Bachelor’s degree online in Computer Science, thanks to a retired couple living in the United States.
Linval Taylor and his wife Menervah, both Jamaican natives, are facilitating the scholarships, which are tenable at University of the People (UoPeople).
“Our objective is to provide scholarships where the degrees are in demand from a workforce perspective. The recipients will make a living wage after graduation in Jamaica or any other part of the world,” Mr. Taylor told The Beacon. “We chose Computer Science because there can be so many offshoot jobs from having a degree in this field of study.”
Mr. Taylor further stated that, although UoPeople is a tuition-free university, there are associated costs.
He explained: “There are application fees and assessment fees per course, and they add up pretty quickly. Additionally, we baked in a 20 percent cushion to offset other educational related costs. So, our projection for the four years and two students is approximately JA$1.6M.”
Mr. Taylor said he and his wife have the wherewithal to assist.
“Both [our] daughters are settled and are doing exceptionally well. My wife worked as a registered nurse and I, a telecommunications engineer. We worked for more than 40 years each in Jamaica and the USA combined,” he explained.
“We are financially stable and have the wherewithal and means to do philanthropic deeds. Therefore, we decided to embark on this journey five years ago with a lot of time on our hands.”
It is not the first time that the Taylor family is offering scholarships to Jamaican students. It has been doing so for years, initially in Mr. Taylor’s native community of Waterhouse, Kingston.
He said: “We chose to focus on my old Waterhouse community and its adjoining neighbourhoods and, to a more considerable extent, the entire country as long as the recipients are from under-served communities. The inspiration comes from the fact that many too-bright young students from these sections of the country lack the financial support to be the best they can be.
“We aim to remove the stranglehold that poverty perpetuates generation after generation, and give some of these brilliant young minds a chance to educate themselves… This education will enable these recipients to enjoy a significantly better lifestyle for themselves and their families after we are long gone from this side of the earth,” Mr. Taylor added.
The couple already offered two full-time scholarships at the University of Technology to a male and female from Waterhouse. The recipients are in the third year of study in Industrial Engineering and Nursing respectively.
The Taylor family, earlier this year, also offered two teachers in the Kingston 11 footprint scholarships to pursue their Master’s in Education degrees at the University of the People. They are to graduate next year. “The thought process behind this is that they will be able to impart their advanced teaching knowledge to new classes year after year,” Mr. Taylor said.
He further told The Beacon that the deadline for persons to submit applications regarding the Computer Science degree is November 15, 2020. The studies will commence on January 28, 2021. Mr. Taylor can be contacted via Facebook by clicking HERE.
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