By Sonia Boddie -Thompson:
Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 12, 2018– In a surprise announcement made at the 2018 Graduation Ceremony of the Edgar T. Morris Primary School, held on July 11, 2018, Scholarship Director, Mrs. Sonia Boddie-Thompson announced, “In celebration of the 5th year of presenting this scholarship, I am delighted to announce that every child graduating today, will be awarded a Sonia Boddie Promising Youth Leader Scholarship.” This announcement was exceptionally well received by the audience of students, parents, staff, education officials, well-wishers and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, the Hon. Shawn K. Richards, at the House of Deliverance, New Testament Church of God in Tabernacle, who all erupted in cheers of excitement and gratitude at this gesture.
The 2018 Graduating Class, which coincidentally is comprised of five (5) students, now boast the unique distinction of all being Sonia Boddie Promising Youth Leader Scholarship Awardees, bringing the total number of awardees over the five (5) years to thirteen (13). The 2018 awardees are Shenika Challenger, Odarian Jeffers, Jayden Bradshaw, Sheriah Nisbett and Bishon Buchanan.
The Sonia Boddie Promising Youth Leader Scholarship Award which was initially launched in 2014, annually rewards two students (1 male and 1 female) graduating from Mrs. Boddie-Thompson’s Alma Mater, the Tabernacle Primary School, now renamed the Edgar T. Morris Primary School, the privilege of a one day shopping trip in Basseterre with Mrs. Boddie-Thompson, to purchase school uniforms and school supplies valued at $500 EC dollars per child. The students are also treated to lunch after completing their shopping. She highlighted, “Many may wonder, why I do not just give the students the money. Yes, it is very easy to just put cash in an envelope and send it to the school. However, I do not want to be a stranger to the students. I want to get an opportunity to interact with them, to better understand them and to demonstrate to them, that even outside of their immediate family circle, there is someone who is genuinely interested in their academic and holistic development.” She further advised that over the years, she has paid surprise visit to the High School and has kept in contact with the students and parents, to keep abreast of their growth and development.
Mrs. Sonia Boddie-Thompson who proudly hails from Tabernacle Village and now serves as the Clerk of the National Assembly of Saint Christopher and Nevis, also gave sound words of advice to the parents admonishing them to, “Do not deprive your children of opportunities which can positively impact their development. Apply for everything that is being offered to assist your children. If you are uncertain about how you may best complete an application or any document related to your child, do not shy away from seeking assistance. Ask a teacher at the school, ask someone in the community.” She emphasized, “It still takes a community to raise a child.” Mrs. Boddie –Thompson, also acknowledged the work of the Grade Six Teacher Ms. Soretta Browne, who she remarked, was not only very instrumental in distributing and collecting the application forms, but, “works extremely hard and demonstrates true dedication to her students”. She further encouraged the community, to value the teachers as they are making a huge difference in the lives of their children.
Mrs. Sonia Boddie-Thompson was also surprised with a Community Service Award from the School later in the ceremony, in recognition of the Scholarship and her many contributions and faithful service to the ideals and purpose of the institution.