Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 1, 2023– It was a moment of jubilation at the Edgar T. Morris Primary School in Tabernacle when Mrs Sonia Boddie-Thompson delivered the surprise announcement, that the entire Grade Six Class of nine students were all being awarded the 2023 Sonia Boddie Promising Youth Leader Scholarship, in celebration of the tenth anniversary of the award. The proud awardees are Shanequa Hazel, Deondra Huggins, Ikenna Boyd, Tecaldo Thomas, Kyle O’Loughlin, Deshaundre Hull, Kadeem Lewis, Qwaunje Duporte and Junior Harris.
At a special ceremony held at the school on Thursday, June 1, 2023, in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the award, Mrs Boddie-Thompson presented the certificates and $500EC dollars checks to the nine happy awardees. The scholarship is usually awarded to one male and one female student annually. In 2018, in commemoration of the fifth anniversary, the entire graduating class of five students were all awarded. A total of 30 students have now benefitted from the Sonia Boddie Promising Youth Leader Scholarship, which was first awarded on June 30, 2014.
The benefactor, Mrs Sonia Boddie-Thompson, who hails from the village of Tabernacle and is the 1996 valedictorian of the Tabernacle Primary School, now renamed Edgar T. Morris Primary, noted in her remarks, “My commitment to the Sonia Boddie Promising Youth Leader Scholarship remains firm. Once the good Lord continues to give me the breath of life, I will annually award this scholarship…to the children of Tabernacle… because this is my way of giving back and empowering the young people of the community that raised me. As I indicated in 2014, I am happy when I receive, but I am even happier when I can give back.” Mrs Boddie-Thompson further encouraged the students “to see the scholarship as motivation for you to continue striving for academic excellence and for you to do your best at every task you set your mind to.”
One of the 2017 scholarship recipients, Ms Shanikwa George, gave a testimonial declaring, “…I am proud to share that receiving the Sonia Boddie Promising Youth Leader Scholarship was a significant turning point in my life. It provided me with the financial support I needed to pursue my academic goals and to achieve my dreams… I feel lucky to have received both a scholarship and a mentor through Mrs Sonia Boddie-Thompson. Mrs Boddie-Thompson has continuously played an important role in the person I am today. She is someone I can call on for advice and someone who always pushes me towards my limit…”
Gratitude was expressed to Mrs Sonia Boddie-Thompson, by Senior Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mr Melvon Bassue. He stated, “On behalf of the Ministry of Education, the Government and by extension the people of St. Kitts and Nevis, the people of this great community, we want to say thank you for your continued commitment and investment in the people of Tabernacle and the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.”
Principal, Mr Dale Phipps, challenged the students to continue doing well, stating, “Students, I want you to receive the award and to go to secondary school and do your very best… We expect to hear great things [from] you. When we have people helping us, we must put our best foot forward. And we would want you to encourage Mrs Boddie to continue in this stead because she is doing an awesome job!”.
The ceremony was punctuated by a lovely rendition of the song “I am a Promise” by the Grade Six students. The ceremony was blessed with a very moving invocation to start the proceedings by Pastor Judah Payne of the Millionaire’s Harvest Christian Centre located in Tabernacle.
Mrs Sonia Boddie-Thompson is a multiple scholarship recipient and an outstanding product of the school. She is currently a diplomat serving as the Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of St. Kitts and Nevis to the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Interim Representative of St. Kitts and Nevis to the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, D.C., USA.