MANDEVILLE, Manchester – Bethabara Primary School mathematics teacher Ardene Munroe-Stewart turned up at National Commercial Bank’s Mandeville branch last Thursday for what she thought was an interview regarding the NCB Foundation’s 2022 Grant a Wish programme.
Her joy knew no bounds following her discovery that she was actually a beneficiary of a $500,000 grant.
An excited Munroe-Stewart, who placed second in the formally trained teacher category of the Grant a Wish programme, was also celebrating her 10th wedding anniversary.
“I am elated. I didn’t even know that it would have been on my anniversary that I would have gotten that money,” said the 14-year educator.
She said her husband, Ricardo Stewart, took the lead in ensuring that she amassed 16,320 votes online in NCB Foundation’s 2022 Grant a Wish programme.
“My husband [was] my campaign manager and my friend Rayfia Cotterel nominated me,” she said while thanking her school, family and friends for voting for her.
“Let me salute NCB, because without [them] none of this would be possible. Right now I am teary-eyed. I am just trying to control my emotions. I am excited. I have never gotten a gift so big, apart from giving birth to my daughter,” she added.
The NCB Foundation’s 2022 Grant a Wish programme aims to recognise and celebrate educators, individuals, and community organisations that have made significant contributions to education in Jamaica.
Its $15-million budget is being used to grant wishes for teachers, principals, guidance counsellors, community organisations, charities, and community heroes, as well as providing laptop and tablet devices for youngsters in need.
Chief executive officer of the NCB Foundation Nadeen Matthews Blair said education is a primary focus of the foundation.
“We are now doubling down on digital education so that we can empower the next generation with the digital skills to make them competitive in the global workforce and well positioned to lead Jamaica’s digital transformation. This year, we have chosen to recognise and express our gratitude for the selfless contributions of our educators,” she said.
The annual programme invites nominations from the public online at grantawish.jncb.com in the categories of ‘Formally Trained Educator’, which is a principal, teacher and/or guidance counsellor; ‘Charitable Organisations’, which is a charity/non-government organisation/special needs or community centre; and ‘Community Hero’.
Beneficiaries receiving the top votes in each category received grants valued at $750,000 for first place, $500,000 for second place, and $300,000 for third place.
Additionally, 10 laptops and 10 tablets will be donated to children 17 years old and younger.