Eighteen tertiary-level students were presented with scholarships and book grants under the Governor-General’s ‘I Believe’ Initiative.

The students, who attended colleges and universities across the island, were recognised for their participation in the 2015 Summer of Service competition, organised through the ‘I Believe’ programme.

Twelve of the recipients are enrolled at the University of the West Indies (UWI); two at the G.C. Foster College; and one each at the University of Technology (UTech), the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE), Excelsior Community College, and the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI).

Throughout the summer, the youngsters volunteered with a variety of non-governmental entities, as well as religious and community organisations.

Governor-General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Sir. Patrick Allen, commended the students for their volunteerism and encouraged them to use their success upon completion of studies as an opportunity to help others and give back.

“We trust that as you submerge yourself in your studies…you can spend the time to focus on your objectives and to develop into the person that you ought to be; to develop in a way ever conscious that you are here for a purpose and you are coming back to make a significant contribution,” he said.

He said it is his hope that the assistance provided through the programme will foster growth and development of the students.

“We believe in you that you will not lose the value of all that was implanted in you; the investment of your parents, your teachers, your leaders, your church, your community groups and so many entities that combine in your development and growth.

“We believe that you will live up to the expectations and even go beyond,” Sir Patrick said.

The Summer of Service competition is one component of the I Believe Initiative, formed in 2011, which is geared towards increasing the spirit of volunteerism in Jamaican youth, as well as rewarding academic excellence.

The prizes were provided for the students through partnerships with various corporate entities and the educational institutions.