Some Marley news, Part 1: Inaugural Rita Marley Scholarships awarded

This is about hope, and support.

Did you know that Rita, the widow of Bob Marley and Founder and Chair of the eponymous Foundation, was once a nurse? Now, three tertiary students of nursing have received scholarships from her Rita Marley Foundation, in honor of Rita’s 75th birthday on July 25.

The recipients are Esther Williams, who is currently in her fourth year of nursing school at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona campus; Toni-Ann Howard, who is in her sophomore year at the UWI School of Nursing (UWISON) program at Knox Community College in Manchester; and Karesha Dixon, who has just entered her first year at Excelsior Community College in Kingston.

Karesha Dixon, one of the awardees. (Photo: Rita Marley Foundation)

Rita Marley and her daughter Cedella sent encouraging messages to the awardees. “I congratulate these young women on their achievements thus far, and I am grateful to be part of their continuing mission to educate and empower themselves,” said Rita.

Cedella Marley stressed the importance of a strong community to support and uplift Jamaica’s youth. “This is a difficult season for many,” she observed. “We’ve seen how much the pandemic affects parents. We understand the anxiety of the students and the general energy of uncertainty that surrounds education at this time, which is why we had to find a way to assist.”

“We all have a duty to be there for each other,” Cedella Marley continued. “We should look out for those who have the drive and skills, but may need a helping hand to keep going. We are very proud of this scholarship, and pleased to be able to assist these three young women.”

The Rita Marley Foundation was established to assist those who experience the challenges of accessing higher education in the nation’s lower socio-economic divisions. The aim is not only to provide money, but hope. You can read the list of objectives for the Foundation in Jamaica here.

Rita Marley Foundation Manager, Alicia Williams (left), with two of the 2021 Rita Marley Scholarship Awardees Esther Williams (centre) and Toni-Ann Howard (right) at the Rita Marley Foundation “meet and greet” session. (Photo: Rita Marley Foundation)


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