RG Scholarships

Centennial Foundation Supports Student Success

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Formerly the Bank of Bermuda Foundation, the Centennial Foundation has provided scholarships and grants for Bermudians for over 30 years. Since 2022, the organisation has been in the process of conducting an island-wide survey of award and scholarship providers, and scholarship recipients, to understand the scholarships available on the island and to assess students’ needs.

According to Terré Smith, programme & operations coordinator at Centennial, the Foundation will be utilising the findings from the survey, and the Scholarship Committee has embarked on a strategic review of our scholarship offerings.

To date, there have been no significant changes made to the scholarship roster, but Ms Smith shared some early insight into their ongoing research:

“One of several findings from our research is that we need to have greater outreach to public school students,” she stated. The study has also identified that “there are a limited number of scholarships for students with disabilities, and there has been a resounding request from our scholarship recipients to introduce a mentoring programme.”

Acknowledging the current lack of funding for students with learning needs, Ms Smith noted that Centennial is focusing part of its scholarship review on identifying how it can address this gap, as it is an important part of the research in which the organisation will engage.

“We currently aren’t aware of any local scholarships specifically for special needs students,” she said. “Still, we have a few community partners that work closely with the disabled community. A few organisations to contact who can provide more context and details include: Bermuda Centre for Creative Learning, Tomorrow’s Voices and WindReach Bermuda.”

There are 11 scholarships listed as available on the Centennial website – https://centennial.bm/scholarships/ – four of which are highly-sought after for their long-term financial support:

Philip Butterfield Public School Scholarship: Only available to students in public school; scholarship recipients are awarded $30,000 per year for up to four years. Applicants must demonstrate strong leadership potential.

John D Campbell Arts Scholarship: Specifically available to students pursuing undergraduate studies in fine arts, music or theatre, and awards $30,000 per year for up to four years.

Sir Henry Tucker Scholarship: Available for students pursuing any field of undergraduate study. This scholarship offers two recipients $30,000 per year for up to four years.

Centennial Trust Scholarship: Available for students pursuing any field of undergraduate study. This scholarship grants $12,000 per year for up to four years.

With hundreds of students submitting applications for scholarships, Ms Smith noted that the committee has a “reasonably challenging” time making decisions each year. But, to stand out from the rest, she advised students to:

  1. Start the application process early: “Pull the required documents together at your earliest convenience. Spend time thinking thoroughly about the application questions and have a few trusted adults, parents or school guidance counsellors review your application answers and solicit feedback.”
  2. Be prepared: “If an applicant reaches the interview stage, I encourage them to come prepared and to be themselves.”

If any applicants have questions about the application process, they can contact Ms Smith directly as she is happy to support students and parents interested in learning more about the application offerings and strategy. She can be contacted at [email protected] or 707-6551.

Maya Richardson

In 2021, Maya Richardson was one of two recipients of the Sir Henry Tucker University Scholarship. She says the process was straightforward and concise, and the Bermuda Scholarship website clarified what information to include with her application.

Currently studying Veterinary Medicine & Science at the University of Surrey, Ms Richardson admitted that she didn’t start the application process until many were approaching deadlines, providing little time for detailed research but “the Bermuda Scholarship website allowed me to narrow down which scholarships I would be eligible for, so I focused around those specific awards and began my applications as soon as I could.”

Honoured to have been selected, Ms Richardson said that being a Centennial scholarship recipient has allowed her to focus on her academic studies without the added pressure of financial constraints. “I feel fortunate to have received funding to cover my education and living expenses, especially since my degree programme is quite rigorous, and it would be difficult to work alongside my studies.”

Echoing Ms Smith’s sentiment, Ms Richardson suggested that prospective scholarship applicants apply for as many scholarships as possible, and be prepared. “It can be a bit overwhelming writing a personal statement or requesting character references, so getting a head start always helps.

“Another piece of advice is not to fear the interview process. I was definitely nervous during my Centennial interview, but I think being selected for an interview is already an accomplishment; it means you’ve stood out on paper. So be confident and show your interviewees everything you have to offer as a future scholar.

Scholarship details can be found at www.centenial.bm and www.bermudascholarships.com. Applications are open until April 30.

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