By: Stephen G. Fellajuah
The Cummings Africa Foundation (CAF), a non- profit organization founded by the Cummings Family, has awarded nine full scholarships to prospective students to pursue tertiary studies in the area of science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and agriculture for the 2022-2023 Academic year. The CAF Scholarship Program began in 2017 and has since provided approximately US$120,000 to more than 100 students.
Speaking on Monday, September 19, 2022, on the CAF Scholarship Program, Country Director, Wede Elliott -Brownell said, the Cummings Africa Foundation values education and believes that financial constraints should not limit a person from pursuing higher education. As the late Dr. Emmet Dennis, former President of the University of Liberia, said on several occasions, “scholarships provide opportunities to economically challenged but intellectually rich students”.
This program focuses on STEM and agriculture disciplines of the dearth of these graduates in Liberia. According to Director Elliott-Brownell, Liberia needs more Doctors engineers, scientists, and agriculturists to meet the development agenda. This Program support the vision of CAF and we intend to expand it further, she assured.
Continuing, she stressed that the scholarships are awarded based on academic excellence, potential leadership skills, and demonstrated need. Students who are awarded the CAF Scholarships must maintain a “B” average and remain active in their communities. She noted that the Scholarships Program has grown significantly since its inception, stating that over the next few years, as the scholarship recipients graduate from college and enter the workplace, CAF expects to see measurable and impactful results.
The four participating institutions of higher learning are: Stella Maris Polytechnic University, Start College of Science and Technology, Smythe Institute of Management and Technology, and Adventist University of West Africa.
Director Elliott-Brownell said Cummings Africa Foundation CAF believes and work from the position that if every person, in every community, is given the right opportunities for better health care, better education, and the ability to earn a meaningful income, he or she can reach his or her full potential.
Since its creation in 2015, she stated that the Cummings Africa Foundation has invested over US$5 million implementing education, health, and entrepreneurship programs. The Foundation’s programs and initiatives have impacted community in almost every county in Liberia. CAF remains committed to having a positive impact on the lives of people in as many communities as possible, she emphasized further.
Earlier, in welcoming remarks, Mrs. Theresa Cummings, Co-founder of the Cummings Africa Foundation, thanked the CAF Director and panelists for the role they have played. She went further to express that the program is a great honor to create opportunity for students, because many are in need but there is no opportunity, and the Foundation is making effort in the director.
“We are behind you 100% as you create your future, not just for yourself but for your country as well”, Madam Cummings said while motivating the students to see the program as a golden opportunity and make the best performance in their respective disciplines.
In a brief remark, Mr. Alexander B. Cummings reminded Liberians that while it is not anyone choice to decide where to be born, their tribe or religion, it is the choice to make Liberia a better place that makes the difference. He noted that the scholarship program is not political, mentioning that Liberia will only change when all Liberians applied efforts to do so.
Cummings urged the beneficiary students to do more and be on top of their lessons. According to Mr. Cummings it is very important for Liberia to take interest in the sciences. He expressed delight that six of the nine recipients are females.
Also, one of the several beneficiaries of the CAF Scholarships, who spoke during the program, held at the Foundation’s headquarters, in the suburbs of Oldest Congo Town, Jeremiah Kerkula, a prospective graduate of the Stella Maris Polytechnic, thanked the Cummings Africa Foundation for the scholarship awarded him. Jeremiah has been on the scholarship since 2017 and is among the first 105 students on the program. He is expected to graduate with a degree in Civil Engineering next month.
The nine students include, Grace Tokpa of the Adventist of West Africa, studying Public Heath, Nuwoe Kollie, pursuing Electrical Engineering at the Stella Maris Polytechnic, Amos Dolo, Environmental Science at Stella Maris Polytechnic, Precious Beyorplue, agriculture at the Stella Maris Polytechnic, Louis Marriam of the Stella Maris Polytechnic, Civil Engineering,
Others are Sandra Varney of the Smythe Institute of Management & Technology, Nursing, Theresa Corneh of the Smythe Institute of Management & Technology, Nursing, Aaron Gborlay of the Starz College of Science & information Technology, and Yankson Toe of the Starz College of Science & Technology, reading Information Technology.