Cayman Prep and High School recently announced the introduction of a new scholarship programme for students studying for A-level examinations, brought about by a collaboration of local businesses all keen to support education.
In partnership with six local companies, Cayman Prep and High School is offering students the opportunity to apply for one of six scholarships, each worth $2,400.
Brendan Touhey, head of the A-level programme at Prep says students will be expected to meet the demands and criteria of the scholarship programme, which places an emphasis on high academic standards, community service and working in partnership with sponsors.
He praised the new initiative, saying: “This is an excellent opportunity both for the wonderful companies involved and the students to work together in pursuit of university and career goals. It also highlights the commitment of the sponsors to foster home-grown talent and invest in bright young students.”
Rankine McMillan, from sponsoring company The London & Amsterdam Trust Company Limited explains why it was happy to come on board: “We consider it particularly important that all students be offered the highest standard of education available and the Cambridge International Board and Welsh Board A-level examination programmes for sixth form students are of the highest standard.”
McMillan says that the A-level programme offered by CPHS, which has only been in existence for eight years, has been very successful.
“In this time the CPHS sixth form has grown from an initial five students to over 80 studying a variety of subjects,” he says. “Last year all of the students in sixth form obtained places in universities around the globe.”
He says that the government supports the A-level programme, providing grants to academically qualified Caymanian students. Many students coming into the Prep programme who previously attended John Gray High School have gone on to university.
“To date, former Prep students have graduated from universities with degrees in medicine, law, accountancy, geography, business studies, architecture and other subjects,” he adds.
McMillan believes it is important that the Cayman Islands schools system, whether it be government or private, offers courses to students that provide them with the opportunity for higher learning.
“London & Amsterdam is happy to provide additional incentive to those students entering Cayman Prep’s A-level programme,” he says.
“I believe that the future for Cayman is in the opportunities we give our children,” says Michael Ryan, of Orion Developers Ltd, another supporting company of the scholarship programme. “And I am proud to have the chance to play a small part in this effort. Throughout the life of The Ritz-Carlton and Dragon Bay project, we have been dedicated supporters of local education – going back to the first scholarships offered at the beginning of the project in the late 1990s, through the skills initiatives during construction of the hotel, and into the day to day progression for employees and deserving Caymanians in all walks of life,” Ryan says.
Law firm Ogier has been another supporter of Cayman Prep’s new scholarship programme. Peter Cockhill, managing partner says: “Helping young people reach their full potential is part of Ogier’s community investment programme. We are especially proud to support this scholarship programme as it underpins the invaluable rewards of mentorship.”
Another law firm, Conyers Dill & Pearman is also delighted to support the CPHS scholarship programme because of the mentorship aspect involved.
“We feel this programme gives the business leaders of tomorrow a vitally important head start to make informed decisions about their career choices. This programme offers the tools and encouragement they will need in today’s competitive market and economic climate,” Marc Thomas from the firm says. “What better way to choose a career than from personal experience and mentorship? Students will be given an overall view of the day to day running of a leading international law firm and gain valuable experience interacting in a friendly, professional and multi-jurisdictional work environment.”
Rod McDowall, operations manager at Red Sail Sports, another contributing company, says that the watersports industry has battled for years to attract school leavers to the myriad of careers that are available in diving, sailing and watersports, from dive instructor and divemaster to boat captain, marine mechanics to photography and sales.
“We believe that the Cayman Prep scholarship programme is an imaginative and positive way to create the awareness and interest we are looking for to bring young Caymanians into the field,” he confirms.
“The Cayman Islands are a world class tourism destination with some of the best related companies in the world on their doorstep to stimulate and assist in the education of our children as they make their career decisions. We are very pleased to be able to be involved in this pilot program that will hopefully expand quickly in following years and help us find our workforce locally rather than overseas.”
Rawlinson & Hunter also supported Prep’s scholarship programme.