Hosted on a virtual platform, the mood was optimistic and appreciative as energy stakeholder, bp Trinidad and Tobago officially marked the start of 2021/22 academic year of their signature Brighter Prospects scholarship programme on November 6.
A media release said that this year the intake of the scholarship programme was increased from 30 students in 2020 to 54 students, which includes three post-graduate students. There are also 24 continuing students who are various stages of their academic programmes.
Joel Primus, communications and advocacy advisor, bpTT, congratulated the new intake and guided the entire cohort in terms of bp’s new sustainability frame, outlining how the company is pursuing sustainability through three broad areas: getting to net zero, improving people’s lives and care for the planet. He zeroed in on their aim 12 of "just transition", which is focused on building stronger relationships with communities based on mutual trust and respect and through support for advancing human rights and education.
Open to residents of Mayaro and environs, Brighter Prospects is one of BPTT’s flagship programmes in its myriad social investment initiatives. Started in 2003, the programme provides financial assistance to students who gain access to tertiary education at approved institutions. Since inception, the programme has provided more than 600 scholarships, producing more than 400 graduates. Beyond the financial assistance, the company provides additional support such as academic guidance and motivational sessions.
Sharing a few words of inspiration with the students were past graduates of the programme: medical doctor, Jarred Brewster and master’s graduate, Tesila Manoe. Manoe was a Brighter Prospects scholarship recipient from A-Levels straight to her master’s degree in international/global studies and she currently teaches at the Rio Claro West Secondary school and serves on the board of the All Mayaro Sports Foundation.
The bpTT scholarship programme has been enhanced over the years to cover a wide range of tertiary education studies and this year students have explored new areas of study including Environmental Science and Sustainable Technology as well as Renewable Energy Technology. In 2014, bpTT also started an internship programme that provided Brighter Prospects students with invaluable work experience during the July-August vacation.
Also speaking at the vent was Keishel Beckles, who will complete her masters of education programme in December and Matthew Pierre, community liaison coordinator at bpTT.