CMU students receive Pepsi-Cola Jamaica scholarship valued at $500,000 Loop Jamaica

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Pepsi-Cola Jamaica continues to pave the way for Jamaica’s youth to fulfil their dreams by providing tuition assistance valued at $500,000 and a summer internship to promising scholar, Ricardo Shields.

The gesture will allow 20-year-old Shields, now in his second year at the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), to continue pursuing his Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechatronics Engineering this coming September.

The summer internship, which began in June and wrap in September, provided compensation for Shields. Pepsi-Cola Jamaica has pledged support for Ricardo throughout his studies and subsequent offer for a permanent job.

Recognising the wealth of talent among Jamaica’s youth spanning various industries including technical and manufacturing specialties –Pepsi-Cola Jamaica is committed to honing and growing these skill sets through its Talent Program. The program focuses on identifying opportunities for mentorship and other areas of development for university students.

Touched by a story which appeared recently in a local newspaper detailing Ricardo’s journey of financial trials in order to complete his degree, Pepsi-Cola Jamaica did not hesitate to reach out to him to lend some assistance.

While speaking highly of Shields’ self-determination and enthusiasm, Chantelle Richards, Human Resource Manager at Pepsi-Cola Jamaica shared, “Pepsi-Cola Jamaica continues to invest in practical ways to help young Jamaicans realize their true potential. We seek to equip persons with resources and experience to make positive contributions to the country.”

Richards went further, “Ricardo is passionate about excelling in his craft. In addition to pursuing studies that is relevant to the manufacturing industry, a key qualifier for our Youth Outreach and Talent Program is an eager attitude and a commitment to achieving one’s goals — he was a perfect fit. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Mr Shields.”

Deeply passionate about engineering and understanding the ‘why’ of how things work, Shields describes his internship experience as eye-opening, “Working on the plant since June, surrounded by all the machinery was certainly a win-win situation for me. My first day was an exciting one. Overall, the experience has been a good challenge, I’ve been exposed to technology and processes that made me excited for the future of manufacturing in Jamaica. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn, especially within the context of my career path.”

To date, through its youth outreach and talent program, Pepsi-Cola Jamaica has come to the aid of over 40 university students across the island.

“My circumstances were certainly less than ideal. I struggled financially for a long time and I know many young people would love an opportunity to show their potential and talent but are not given a chance. For me, it was the fact that Pepsi took the time to acknowledge my story and consider my potential. I am truly overwhelmed by their kindness and will be forever grateful for the opportunity,” explained Shields.

While crediting his tenacity to his faith and conviction to always doing the right thing, he cautioned his age-mates and other struggling individuals to never be shy to ask for help,

“As long as you have the determination to achieve something out of life put aside your pride and ask for help. I understand that it is a hard thing to do, for some time I was worried about what others would say about my struggles, especially when they became public, but I quickly realized that had I not asked for help I would not be where I am today. It doesn’t matter what you are going through, as long as you have the self-determination to achieve something out of life…you will achieve it.

Now, more hopeful about his future, Ricardo is eager to become a mechanical engineer.

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