CCCUL executive and 2018 scholarship winners
CCCUL executive and 2018 scholarship winners

Patrick Pemberton, the seven-foot president of the Central Co-operative Credit Union Ltd believes few things are as difficult as they originally appeared.

Addressing a short ceremony last week at the CCCUL building at Goodwill to award scholarships to four secondary school students, Pemberton said that is one of the many things that he has learnt in his life.

"Every time you have a project to do there's something difficult about it and you'll be surprised to know that when you get into the project you will realise 'it was not as difficult as I thought it was'", Pemberton said.

He also advised the CCCUL scholarship winners that although they must concentrate on their studies, there are other important aspects of their school lives.

"When you get as old as me you will realise academics is not everything," Pemberton said. "You can get 12 Ones and you may still not a person that people like because you did not pay attention to socializing and friendship to people around you… do remember to develop relationships with people around you starting with the people at home."

The CCCUL is a 2007 amalgamation of the Portsmouth Credit Union and the St. Alphonsus Credit Union.

Two of these scholarships that the CCCUL presented last week were based on need and the other two are based on merit. To date the society has awarded scholarships to 36 students.

The recipients of the 2018 scholarships were Malaika Ebony Charles from Dublanc Primary School and Laila M. Larocque from Massacre Primary School both awarded on merit. Kaeyon Greville George of Roosevelt Douglas Primary and Joshua Hector from Goodwill Primary scholarship were both awarded on need.

The Central Co-operative Credit Union Ltd Secondary Schools Scholarship Programme began in 2010 and although 2018 would have been a difficult year financially, Pemberton said cancelling the scholarship programme was not considered.

"It is noteworthy that for 2018 after the damage of Hurricane Maria we actually budgeted that we are going to be losing money in 2018," Pembetton said. "But I want you to understand that we have never once given thought to discontinuing the scholarship programme. Whether we were going to be making a profit or not we were not going to let our members suffer by not having a scholarship programme."

The students who have been awarded these scholarship has performed relatively well over the years. In 2015, Adayah Balthazar of Convent High School and Kerchel Fanfan of Portsmouth Secondary School excelled in 2015 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination. In 2016, Devon Brewster also excelled in the 2016 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination. D'Jana Wyllis of the Convent High School and Darnisha Langlais of the Portsmouth Secondary School, both CCCUL scholarship recipients of 2012, were the top students at the 2017 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination; they were also valedictorians at their high school graduation that year.