Left to right: Charlotte Brookson Academy (CBA) Office Manager Sharika Patrick, SMDF Financial Administrator Jennai Marlin, CBA Acting Principal Al Fortune, three CBA students, SMDF Project Associate Breanna Barrie, WIB Marketing & Public Relations Ferdinand R. Beauperthuy and Eunice Odoño, CBA Student Counsellor.
PHILIPSBURG--St. Maarten Development Fund (SMDF), with the financial support from Windward Islands Bank (WIB), provided school supplies to 286 vulnerable high school students. Currently enrolled across nine local high schools, the students were identified by the care staff of their respective schools as living in vulnerable situations.
“Oftentimes, we hear of many back-to-school initiatives that are geared toward younger, primary school aged children, but these support initiatives are not usually extended to high school students,” SMDHF stated to explain were the initiative stemmed from. Keeping in mind that some teenage students also needed help, SMHDF approached all of the nine high schools on the island.
With the help of School Managers and Care Coordinators from all nine local high schools and community-minded vendors such as Office World who provided favourable pricing, SMDF was able to make packages for the 286 vulnerable students identified.
The donation included geometry sets, spiral notebooks, composition books, pencils, erasers, pens, white-out, graphing and college-ruled paper, folders, highlighters, crayons, coloured pencils, rulers, glue sticks, scissors, and a motivational letter.
SMHDF distributed the packages to the students attending the following schools: Milton Peters College, St. Maarten Academy PSVE, St. Maarten Academy FAVE, St. Dominic High School, Sundial School, Methodist Agogic Center High, St. Maarten Vocational Training School, Charlotte Brookson Academy, and Excellence Learning Academy.
Charlotte Brookson Academy’s School Counsellor and Care Coordinator Eunice Odoño said, “It is imperative that the most vulnerable youth are supported, especially given the current issues we all are being faced with. It is not surprising that many of our young people have escalated feelings of anxiousness and apprehension given the impact of the pandemic on top of the weight of other social and domestic provocations they are already concerned with.”
WIB’s General Managing Director Derek Downes said that the bank is proud to have provided financial support. “This project contributes to so many high school students being able to receive well-needed school materials. As your Partner in Progress, WIB always aims to ensure all segments of our society are provided with the means to strive for success.”
SMHDF thanks WIB for their contributions, as well as all nine participating high schools for their partnership and collaboration.