Two recent donations to the Insurance Managers Association of Cayman have taken the pool of funds available to assist young Caymanians with their further education over the US$1 million mark. The Journal investigates the benefit of such a scheme to young individuals within Cayman’s financial services industry.
IMAC’s Educational Scholarship Trust Fund was formed in 1994 to assist with the post high school education of young Caymanians. Contributions are derived from the Association itself, from the individual member insurance management firms and the captive insurance companies.
Since the Fund’s inception up to December 2008 it has raised over US$1 million in funding, with US$534,000 of those funds having been paid out and US$464,000 set aside to fund ongoing scholarship commitments.
Most recent donations from member firms include a US$ 10,000 donation in December of last year from Royal Bank of Canada and US$ 10,000 from Crescent Casualty Insurance Company that same month.
The first recipient of a scholarship from the Fund was Mesha Scott from Cayman Brac. She successfully completed a United World Colleges degree at Atlantic College in Wales. Later Dorothy Scott from George Town was the recipient of a scholarship from the Fund to Armand Hammer College, New Mexico, In the US. She completed her studies and proceeded to study law at the London School of Economics. Both Mesha and Dorothy felt that coming from a small island, the exposure to college life for two years was invaluable prior to seeking a university degree.
Thereafter the fund assisted Bradley Erskine who studied for a Finance degree at Florida International University and Tuda Murphy, who also gained a finance degree at King College in Tennessee. Additional funds have been granted, over the years to Adam Clyne, Jamal Solomon, Janine Mitchell and Freddy Diaz Christian.
IMAC’s first full-time scholarship enabled Tiffany Anderson of Bodden Town to study for a BA (Hons) in Accounting and Finance at South Bank University in London, while Laveda Burton has completed a B.A. Honours degree in Finance and International Business from Richmond University, also in London.
Currently the fund is supporting: Jessica Powell – studying for a International Finance degree at the University of Miami; Victoria King – studying for an Economics degree at the University of Virginia; Monique Hydes – studying for Bachelors in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing at Nova Southeastern University; Samantha Dorman – studying for Bachelors in Vet Science at Massey University, New Zealand; Shivonne Nixon – studying for a BA in Sociology at Acadia University , Canada; Onassia Bodden – Bachelor in Business Administration , University of Miami.
Onassia says, “I heard about the IMAC scholarship programme through the booklet that the Chamber of Commerce publishes which lists all local scholarships. It has significantly benefited me in that it has allowed me to attend my first choice university which is quite costly compared to some other schools I had chosen as back ups and currently my career goals are geared towards working in the Portofolio of Economics and Finance or possibly becoming the financial secretary of the Cayman Islands.”
The Foundation has five directors: three provided by IMAC and two outside directors who are involved in some capacity with young people in the Cayman Islands. The persons appointed from IMAC are Ron Sulisz, John Pitcairn and Tom Clark, the Chairman of the Association, and the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Educational Committee, respectively. The outside directors are currently Michael Bowerman, who is a former headmaster of Cayman Prep and High School, and Merta Day who is employed by the Ministry for Sports, Health and Recreation, who has represented the Cayman Islands in various sports and is heavily involved with the development of young people in the community.