BELIZE CITY, Wed. Apr. 17, 2019– Many parents in Belize are unable to find the funds to cover the cost of sending their children who graduate out of primary school, on to high school. Some young persons, however, are fortunately able to access this vital assistance from various organizations, so they are able to attend high schools throughout Belize.
On Monday afternoon, a group of high school students who are recipients of high school scholarships from Path Light Foundation visited Amandala.
Keshawn Sutherland, 20, a mentor from Path Light, whose ambition is to become a teacher, told us that Path Light Foundation provides a number of high school students with scholarships. He told us that the foundation sponsors students from several high schools, “including Pallotti, Nazarene, SJC, SCA and E.P. Yorke High School.”
Sutherland said Path Light has teacher training centers in the Toledo and Corozal districts. “We have three different umbrellas — the teacher center, the community outreach and the branch that sponsors students, the branch that I work with. Students come in during the evening and are able to get help with their homework, and use of the internet is provided,” Sutherland explained.
Sutherland went on to explain that Path Light, which was originally named Belize Hope, was started by Roger Démodé and Laura Connelly, two Americans who came to Belize and saw a need for education of young people, and were able to fill it.
After they realized the need for a resource center, they changed the name of the organization from Belize Hope to Path Light, Sutherland explained. The resource center is located at #28 St. Thomas Street, Sutherland informed.
Sutherland said that since the resource center was opened, and students were required to enter the facility, they found that the students’ grades rose tremendously, to the extent that recently they had an award ceremony for students who made it onto their school’s honor roll. Sutherland said that 78 percent of their students are on honor roll. Path Light has another resource center in Belmopan, Sutherland said.
The students who are part of the program are required to maintain good grades and after they graduate from high school, they could qualify for a scholarship to attend sixth form.
Jenelle Jones, a senior at St. Catherine Academy, told us that she feels blessed to have been admitted into the program at Path Light.
Jones, 16, said that when she finished primary school she did not know where the finances would have come from for her to attend high school.
“It was a relief for me and my parents, when I got the scholarship. Now I am able to accomplish my goals and dreams,” Jones said.
Anthony Granville, 15, who is attending Saint John’s College (SJC) and is in third form, said the scholarship has opened the door for him. “Path Light has helped me greatly. They give me books and tuition, so that helped me a lot,” Granville said.
Christelle Valle, 16, a second form student at Edward P. Yorke, said that Path Light has been a great help to her and her mother. Otherwise, she would not have been able to afford to attend high school, because she and her mother just didn’t have the funds.