“Maximizing potential for success” was the prevailing theme in celebration and preparation of the five young Soufrierians who were recently awarded athletic scholarships to further their education in various colleges in the United States.
The parents, specially invited guests, executive members of the Black Panthers Youth and Sports club all assembled at the Cool Breeze conference room to provide the scholarship recipients a much deserving send-off and inspirational guidance as they embarked on this educational journey.
Feature Speaker, Johnson Simon, Youth Development Officer of the Soufriere Regional Development Foundation elaborated on the theme articulating a stimulating message to the recipients.
The support of Hon Herod Stanislaus and the SRDF was pledged through the provision of school supplies and financial assistance throughout their scholarship tenure.
Kimberte William, himself a former scholarship beneficiary from the Trobetzkoy’s of Anse Chastanent, was uniquely positioned to share a powerful testimonial shaped from his educational exploits as he achieved a Bachelors of Commerce at Mount Allison university and a Master’s of Business at Dalhousie University, Canada and now an expert Digital Marketing Manager at Anse Chastanet Jade Mountain Resort and Spa.
Special invited Guests such as Stella Clingmond a former Peace Corp Volunteer shared poignant messages emanating from her college experience.
Aaron King CEO of the Kick Start foundation was lauded for this initiative. The Free Kick Foundation Inc is a charitable organization, which seeks to find alternate paths for kids born into economically depressed communities in St Lucia, through football.
In January they hosted the first annual Free Kick College Player Showcase, where eligible student athletes were given an opportunity to display their abilities under the observation of US University Soccer Coaches in the hope of securing a college scholarship.
There were 45 Pre-screened student athletes who were showcased; twenty (20) participants received scholarships and five (5) of whom went through Gigs Soccer Academy in their formative years and represented the Blackpanthers organization; while subsequently some players went on to play for other clubs and the National teams.
The Saint Lucia Football Association was duly acknowledged for it indelible support of this program; partnering diligently with the Free Kick Foundation Inc. and is providing financial support to the recipients and covering transportation costs to the United States. The SLFA ensured that all the participants were adequately prepared for the player showcase and will continue to support these student athletes, monitoring their progress and providing assistance where necessary.
The proud beneficiaries are Shaunasha Prevot, Keeroy Lionel and Claudina Constantine, all attending Essex College in New Jersey. Zachernus Simon, University of South Carolina and Jahzani Henry, Concordia College, Alabama.
Zachernus Simon and Claudina Constantine are both receiving full scholarship to their respective universities and the others have landed part scholarships.
Their diligence, perseverance, determination zeal to succeed are testimonies to their emerging success. As National players, all of these student athletes are proud ambassadors of Saint Lucia and will continue to represent with distinction, vigor and valor.
The scholars were beaming with pride, and eagerness as they received financial tokens and plaques of achievement. Their proud parents expressed their gratitude to the Panther team for contributing to the success of their kids. The delighted patriarch, Coach Gilroy Gigs Lamontagne along with the matriarch his ever-eager supportive partner, Claudia Lamontagne wished their young panthers cubs best of wishes as they embarked on this adventure.
The arduous Black Panthers President Ms Alexia Alcindor and her team, Tamara Joseph (Treasurer), Ann Marie Samson( Secretary) Nubia Allain (Asst Secretary), Tyson Mondesire ( Public Relations Officer) Nyasha Marshalleck (floor Rep) Jonathan Chalon (Trustee) vowed the unrelenting backing from the Black Panther family and promised to continue to build and sustain the empowering environment for the youth to excel and develop.
The Black Panthers Club wishes the recipients all the love and success they deserve and urges them to work ardently in their pursuit of their goals as they journey on, to maximize their talent and potential to manifest into success in their every endeavor.