Shelly-Ann-Fraser-Pryce, a nine-time World champion, recently presented five student-athletes from Jamaican schools with yearly bursaries to cover uniforms, books, tuition and other school supplies. These five students bring the total number of students who have received academic scholarships from the Pocket Rocket Foundation to 55 since its founding in 2012.
St Jago High’s Tafada Wright, Manchester High’s Kimesha Beckford, Holmwood Technical’s Anecia Taylor, St Andrew High’s Olivia Peterkin, and Malachi King from Wolmer’s Boys are among the award recipients. Fraser Pryce said that the foundation’s mission was always straightforward: to continue supporting Jamaican student-athletes financially through their upper secondary education. She also had the good luck of being assisted throughout her high school years by a kind woman named Jeanne Coke, a member of the Wolmer’s Old Girls’ Association. Therefore, she wanted to also pass that flame on to the current and future student-athletes.
Even though the obstacles of the last two years have made it extremely difficult, she remains committed to the foundation’s work and the impact of hope that it has on the lives of the Jamaican student-athletes. With that, she expressed her gratitude towards all of the individuals and organizations, particularly her sponsors, who help to promote them in order for them to continue supporting the youth. Each second to fifth form student got a $50,000 cheque during the handover ceremony at Wolmer’s Girls’ School, with sixth form students receiving a $60,000 cheque. They were also given grocery baskets from Grace Kennedy Limited, Fraser’s long-time sponsor. They also received $10,000 vouchers from Sangster’s Book Store and Hi-Lo Supermarket. In addition, they also got Digicel Jamaica call credit.
The scholarship news came in the wake of a hugely successful Pocket Rocket Foundation fund-raising party organized in Miramar by Commissioner Alexandra P Davis. It happened on November 16, 2021 in Florida. She receiving the key from Mayor Wayne Messam to the city of Miramar and a 2nd key from Broward County Board of County Commissioners Commissioner Dale VC Holness.
The five scholarship recipients bring the total number of student-athletes (29 girls as well as 26 boys) to 55. They are from 22 secondary schools and they compete in 11 various sports. The foundation was launched in 2013 when seven different students were given bursaries. The Foundation provided Fraser with a platform from which to effect change in the lives of young Jamaicans. She hopes to attract more sponsors so that she can be able to offer more scholarships. The young children are gifted and intelligent; however, they simply cannot afford to attend school.
Oliver Mair, Jamaica’s Consular General in Miami, also celebrated and gave Fraser-Pryce a Lifetime Achievement Award. Davis, a City Commissioner, also declared November 16 as Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce Day as a result of the event.