The Governor-General’s Programme for Excellence (GGPE), has reversed its decision to cancel the 2020 iteration of the Summer of Service Programme. Having assessed the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the resultant increase in the need for financial assistance to tertiary students, the decision has been taken to have an altered version of the programme.
Adhering to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW), the GGPE will allow programme participants to volunteer over the seven (7) month period January – July 2021, instead of the usual eight (8) week period during the summer months of June and July only. The extended period will allow for greater care in the execution of the required ninety-six (96) service hours and allows for ample time to respond to the fluid situation presented by the coronavirus.
The SOS Programme which provides scholarships for youth volunteers who are matriculating or are completing their first undergraduate year, will be launched on June 16 and welcomes applications up to July 31. The SOS Programme rewards academic excellence among students who are desirous of pursuing a tertiary education but whose financial circumstances limit this possibility. The GGPE will make available over $5 million in scholarship to five (5) selected participants in this year’s programme. Each participant will be awarded $350,000 per year for up to three (3) years to cover tuition only.
“I was burdened with the thought that I would be disappointing hundreds of students who anticipate participating in the SOS as a possible means to fund their tertiary education. I had to take action in this arid economic climate brought on by the coronavirus pandemic,” commented His Excellency Sir Patrick Allen, the Governor-General.
“We would like to thank all our sponsors for their continued support and encourage that they remain resolute in their efforts in using what is right with Jamaica to fix what is wrong with Jamaica amidst the numerous challenges,” Sir Patrick Allen added.
Meanwhile, Ms. Sonja Simms, National Coordinator for the GGPE stated that the decision to reconsider the earlier position was a wise one. “It therefore means that my team and I will have to monitor the students closely to ensure that they execute the required hours to truly benefit from volunteering,” Ms. Simms said.
Details on the requirements of the scholarship is available on our website at ggpe.org.jm. Failure on the part of the students to complete the required voluntary hours within the specified timeframe will result in revocation of the scholarship.
In 2019, the programme provided grants and scholarships valued at $J17.3 million for 24 students from across Jamaica to pursue their tertiary academic pursuits.
For more information, please contact:
Governor-General’s Programme for Excellence
Office of the Governor-General and Staff
King’s House, Hope Road, Kingston 6
Tel: 876-927-2464; Cell: 876-550-9460; 876-550-4534