On Friday June 26th, 2015, Saint Lucia’s High Commissioner in London, Ernest Hilaire, hosted an elegant reception at his office to congratulate the 41 recipients of the full tuition scholarships offered by the BPP University, in collaboration with the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce and RISE Saint Lucia Ltd.

Young students of St Lucia at the reception in London.

Young students of St Lucia at the reception in London.

Dr. Hilaire welcomed his compatriots to London and extended words of wisdom born from his own personal struggles when he was a young student from St. Lucia, aspiring to be great in the big city. He encouraged them not to be overwhelmed but rather to be comforted in the knowledge that this opportunity had opened doors to a new world and a great future: “Saint Lucians who come to Britain to study have always succeeded and failure is not an option,” he told his young guests. “Make your families, who have sacrificed a lot to enable you to study, proud of your endeavours and Saint Lucia will be proud of you too.”

Mr. John Kennedy, President of the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce Saint Lucia, attended the event and, at the invitation of the High Commissioner, was happy to say a few words. He said: “When I first met you it was at the Sir Arthur Lewis College at an event organised by RISE and this was just an idea. The next time I met you was at the airport as you waited to board your flights to London; these 41 scholarships had become a fact. Now I meet you in London and your courses have begun and these scholarships are a reality. Work hard, study well and make the most of this fantastic opportunity and the fantastic life ahead of you that you all will have.”

Mrs. Juliette Wagner-James, Deputy Dean of the BPP University, which initiated this opportunity, shared with the students the astounding value of the scholarship programme–£1,500,000 (EC$6 million)–and said that after having had the opportunity to get to know them since their arrival, she was confident that among them were people facing a bright future. “We have leaders and entrepreneurs of the next generation without a doubt,” she said, as she smiled back at her grateful audience.

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