NASSAU, The Bahamas -- Seventeen-year-old Clifford Bowe Jr., a graduate of the Bishop Eldon High School in Grand Bahama, is the 2010 recipient of the All Bahamas Merit Award.
Clifford, who graduated with a 3.7 GPA, is only the second student from Grand Bahama to win since the award’s inception in 1993. He will receive $35,000 per year for the next four years.
The Ministry of Education partners with the Lyford Cay Foundation and the Central Bank in helping young Bahamians achieve their dream of a higher education.
Minister of Education the Hon Desmond Bannister said the records show that of the 16 awardees of the All Bahamas Merit Award, including this year’s recipient, 11 have been males and five have been females.
During a press conference to announce the winner on Thursday, Mr Bannister said the awardees have attended some of the top universities and colleges in the United States and Canada including Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale University, John Hopkins University, Duke, the University of Western Ontario, Brown University, Drexel University and McGill University.
He said, “I wish you to know that a most notable quality the winners of this award have in common is their commitment to serve their country through their talents and their quiet determination.”
Speaking of this year’s recipient, Mr Bannister said Clifford has achieved 10 Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education examination passes; earned the top scores in Chemistry and Physics in 2009; has SAT scores of 2060; has passed three advanced placements in Chemistry, Calculus, English Language and Composition and is a member of the Governor General’s Youth Awards Programme, Anchor Club, and the Kingdom Culture Junkanoo Group in Grand Bahama.
Clifford, the son of Clifford and Chrishna Bowe, will attend the Georgia Institute of Technology and will major in Mechanical Engineering.
John Alao of St Anne’s High School and Noelle Sawyer of St John’s College tied for second place and will each receive $25,000 for four years.
John said he will pursue Cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Miami and Noelle said she will study Mathematics and History at Vassar College, New York.
The other finals were Chantell Adderley of St Augustine’s College; Chelsea Saunders of St Andrew’s High School; Ella Guest of Lyford Cay and Alec Nabb of Grand Bahama Catholic High School. They will each be awarded a one-time award of $15,000.
Mr Bannister noted that the students have grade point averages ranging from 3.7 to 4.0 and earned various awards for their academic excellence and extra-curricular activities during their senior year in high school.
Clifford firstly thanked God and then the sponsors of the scholarship. He also thanked his parents for giving him so much “love and support” and made a “solemn pledge to live up to the expectations” of all those who selected him for the award.