CSJP Beneficiary Awarded Scholarship

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Assistant Community Action Officer, Rocque Ferguson, who has been awarded the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) Foundation and Korea East West Power (EWP) scholarship.

PHOTO :Assistant Community Action Officer, Rocque Ferguson, who has been awarded the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) Foundation and Korea East West Power (EWP) scholarship.

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(Contributed by the Jamaica Information Service)

Rocque Ferguson, a young community mobiliser and beneficiary of the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), is the recipient of a Jamaica Public Service (JPS) Foundation and Korea East West Power (EWP) scholarship to study Public Administration in South Korea.

Ms. Ferguson, who leaves for Seoul in August, is an Assistant Community Action Officer. She has a passion for improving the lives of people within her community of August Town. For her, the scholarship is another step toward enhancing her ability to serve.

Her involvement with the CSJP was instrumental in helping her to get the scholarship.  Since its introduction in 2001, the CSJP has been enabling youngsters like Ms. Ferguson in over 50 communities islandwide, to realize their dreams.

To date, more than 200,000 young persons have benefitted from the programme through scholarships, internships, subsistence funds or mentorship. Once they have completed their studies and internships with the programme, beneficiaries usually move on to do notable things in their communities and the society at large.

Ms. Ferguson said she first heard about CSJP several years ago while working as a community mobiliser in August Town. She was the best contact person to organize meetings or to disseminate information throughout the community.

After working closely with CSJP personnel and her community, she was awarded a scholarship to continue her first degree in Computer Science and Management Studies

at the University of Technology. While completing her studies part-time, she was hired as an Assistant Community Action Officer with the CSJP in 2010 and has been integrally involved with the social development of August Town, touching the lives of many.

“Working at CSJP has given me a deeper understanding of how a public organization can make a difference in terms of community development and I thought public administration was the best way to further understand the administrative practices and how to implement it to assist in community development,” Ms. Ferguson says.

The experience fueled her passion for community development and when the opportunity to apply for the Public Administration scholarship in South Korea arose, she quickly positioned herself as a serious contender.

“I applied for the scholarship because I thought it was the best pick for me, based on my work and my involvement in my community.  I have a passion for what I do and could not see myself doing my thesis on anything else,” she tells JIS News.

Although she heard about the scholarship just days before the application deadline, to her surprise she was shortlisted to be interviewed.

“When I went to the interview, I was very nervous. I didn’t know what to expect and I just thought the essay had in all I could have expressed,” she says.

Ms. Ferguson recalls the excitement and joy she felt when she received the congratulatory email informing her that she has been selected to study for the Master’s degree in South Korea.

Manager of the JPS Foundation, Nathelie Taylor, tells JIS News that the EWP and JPS Foundation Post Graduate scholarship will afford Ms. Ferguson an opportunity to study for two years at the Seoul National University.

“This programme is actually a part of Korea’s scholarship programme and its aim is to nurture talented students in developing countries such as Jamaica. They invite high calibre students from developing countries across the world to study, so that when she comes back and she can apply what she has learnt to what she is already doing,” Ms. Taylor explains.

Communication and Social Marketing Coordinator for the CSJP, Patrice Tomlinson, tells JIS News that they are ecstatic about Ms. Ferguson’s scholarship.

“It really exemplifies the fact that the CSJP does change lives and makes a difference in the lives of persons. It also shows the different windows of opportunities that will open once persons get involved in the programme, not only employees, but persons living in our communities,” she says.