COMING from a struggling family in the rural community of Belfield, St Mary, 23-year-old Karen Baker had no idea her faith and determination would lead her to earn a full scholarship in her third year of university, so she could complete her Doctor of Pharmacy degree.
The degree, a five-year programme at The University of the West Indies (UWI), was more than challenging to complete without the added pressure of sourcing the $1.5-million [US$10,000] tuition yearly.
“When I was about to start I was very terrified as to where I would get all of this money from,” Baker began. “One of the questions they asked me when I was conducting the interview was, ‘will you be able to pay?’ but I said yes in faith, I believe this is where God wanted me to be,” she said.
Baker told Career & Education that she was able to complete her first year because her parents were able acquire funds for the tuition and she participated in the Jamaica Values and Attitude Programme for tertiary students, which required her to do 2,000 hours of voluntary service and at the end of academic year, 30 per cent of her tuition was paid.