MORE STUDENTS TO BENEFIT FROM MANSOOR SCHOLARSHIPS
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Port-of-Spain, The Most Rev. Dr. Jason Gordon recently stressed the importance of providing for those in need as he spoke of the benefits which pupils from Barbados’ two Roman Catholic run schools were reaping from the Michael Mansoor Scholarships.
This is the sixth year that CIBC FirstCaribbean has awarded scholarships in honour of its late former Executive Chairman, to students attending St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic School and the all-boys St. Francis Secondary School.
After receiving this year’s scholarship funds from the bank’s Director of Corporate Communications, Debra King, Archbishop Gordon described the initiative as a wonderful memory of the legacy of a man who was keen on helping young people through mentorship and creating opportunities for them; a man, who placed emphasis on education.
He said the children helped through the scholarships were progressing well and the church was grateful that the bank had extended this help to those families.
Mrs. King said the bank’s approach was influenced by its desire to encourage development in the Caribbean and its belief that education was one of the important routes to achieving that goal. She said having scholarships in Mr. Mansoor’s name was also fitting, given his philosophy of life as well as the fact that he often remarked that without a scholarship, he would not have reached the academic and career achievements which he attained.
The bank, she said, was therefore happy and thankful to the schools for allowing it to develop such an appropriate vehicle for paying tribute to its former leader.
Mr. Mansoor, who was regarded as an icon in the Caribbean’s financial sector, was the bank’s Executive Chairman from its inception in October 2002 until his retirement at the end of 2013, after which he continued to serve on the company’s board of directors. He passed away in November of 2014. During his tenure he was also the Chair of the bank’s charitable foundation, the FirstCaribbean International ComTrust Foundation.
The annual donation of scholarships, which is initially expected to run for ten years, was established in 2014 by the FirstCaribbean International Comtrust Foundation.
In the first years of the programme, the primary school, St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic School received the funding but in 2018, amid growing concerns in the Caribbean that too many secondary school boys were losing interest and underachieving, the bank placed emphasis on St. Francis Secondary School. However, this year, the money will be split between the two schools.