Ernica Scott

First Generation University Grad Honouring the Sacrifice

Ernica Scott knows the meaning of sacrifice. She is a living example of it.

In May 2012, Ernica accomplished a dream that her parents had for themselves, but never got an opportunity to fulfil. She became the first in her family to earn a college education, and what’s more, come June 2017 she intends to become a Master’s degree holder.

“My parents dreamt of going to university, but at the time they were not able to attend. Financially, they were not able to support themselves so they just pushed and encouraged me to go,” said the effervescent primary school teacher.

This spring, when Ernica visited the Oakes Field Campus of the University of The Bahamas (UB), her Alma Mater, she beamed while reminiscing about her college days. A moment later she was pensive, recalling her struggles to pay college tuition and fees. That was before she found out about the Government’s bursary for students attending what was then the College of The Bahamas (COB), UB’s antecedent.

“I received a full scholarship for my Bachelor of Education programme. Previously, I was on another partial scholarship with COB but I needed a full scholarship to be able to continue my degree so that is why I applied for the teacher education grant. I could not have afforded to pay my tuition without that scholarship,” she says.

When she finally walked across the stage to receive her baccalaureate degree at the 2012 Commencement Ceremony, Ernica’s family shared in the overwhelming pride and profound accomplishment. It also fuelled her thirst for higher learning.

Within months of her graduation from COB, she was hired as a teacher at the Garvin Tynes Primary School and began passing on to her eager, young students the knowledge and life lessons that she had acquired. Five years later, she is on the verge of completing a Master’s degree in New Media at one of the top universities in Beijing, China.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has been committed to providing opportunities for higher education for all Bahamians. Scholarship investment overall has more than doubled from $7.75 million dollars in 2011 to $16.2 million dollars in 2016

“Many people desire a post-secondary education but everyone cannot afford it” said the Minister of Education, Science and Technology the Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald. “This Government has been deliberate about increasing participation in higher education for our citizens by removing the financial barrier that many Bahamian families face.”

Ernica is eager to help contribute to The Bahamas through her own pursuits and by inspiring her impressionable young pupils.

“Having a university degree for my future means forward movement. It means that I have more opportunities to excel and more opportunities to help others to excel. With this opportunity we can have a more progressive nation because we would have more educated people that can make more educated decisions,” she says.

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