Gabriel Hall is 2019 CBC Carleton Williams Scholarship winner
After the difficult task of narrowing the Caribbean Bottling Company’s (CBC) Carleton Williams Scholarship applicants down to just six finalists, the CBC interview team was deadlocked. All of the students were exceptional, with amazing grades, glowing recommendations, a bevy of extracurricular interests and big dreams for their futures. With only one scholarship spot available, the decision seemed impossible. After a long deliberation over the talented and bright group of sixth graders, Gabriel Hall was chosen to receive a full, six-year scholarship to Sunland Baptist Academy.
Gabriel, who has a grade point average of 3.85, is described as a “very respectful and well-mannered” student, according to his teachers. When the 10-year-old’s mother, Lakera Deveaux, received the call that he had won the scholarship, she was overjoyed by the good news. She said the family was proud of him and grateful for the scholarship.
In addition to being a student of the year nominee, Gabriel is involved in a number of clubs and charitable groups.
He will have 100 percent of his tuition covered in the first year, and 50 percent of his tuition expenses covered for the duration of his high school career as long as he maintains a stellar academic performance. He said he was happy to be able to go to the high school of his choice, and was extremely grateful and honored to have the support of the BLIDC members.
Freeport Primary School student Patrick Knowles also applied for the Carleton Williams Scholarship, which went to Gabriel, but the interview panel was so impressed with him that Karla Wells-Lisgaris, BLIDC vice president and CBC brand manager, was inspired to reach out to her fellow board members about creating a scholarship for him.
The Bahamas Light Industries Development Council (BLIDC) stepped up to provide Patrick with the first BLIDC scholarship, courtesy of Digiprint, Purity Bakery, Epic Battery, Blanco Chemicals, Aquapure and Cartwright’s Bedding.
Patrick received a six-year scholarship. He will be headed to the Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Academy in the fall.
“All of the young men and women that we interviewed were exceptional, but Patrick blew us away,” said Wells-Lisgaris. “We were extremely impressed by his confidence, intelligence, eagerness to learn, as well as his interest in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field.”
Jonathan Cartwright, BLIDC president and Cartwright’s Bedding chief executive officer, said BLIDC wants to support the development of Bahamian talent and nourish bright, young, potential Bahamian entrepreneurs.
“We recognize the importance of small and medium-sized businesses and are focused on the growth of future businesspersons. Because of this, we were happy to support this scholarship initiative, and we hope that by investing in young Bahamians, like Patrick, we are investing in the advancement of the country, as a whole,” said Cartwright.
“Our team was so impressed with this year’s crop of CBC Carleton Williams Scholarship applicants,” said Nikia Wells, marketing manager, communications. “Each year, it gets more difficult to choose a winner. We met some extraordinary students, who are not only intelligent and actively involved in their schools and communities, but also extremely personable and charismatic. We were extremely happy to award Gabriel with a scholarship and we were elated when the BLIDC and several other Bahamian companies came forward to select another scholarship winner from the group of applicants.”
Gabriel will join 2018 recipients Kennedi Knowles and Anajah Culmer; 2017 recipient K. Kaiya Pinder; and 2016 scholarship winners, twin brothers D’Ron & T’Ron Strapp as the newest CBC scholar.
Kennedi and Anajah currently attend St. John’s College and Aquinas College, respectively. Kaiya is a student of the Bishop Michael Eldon High School, and T’Ron and D’Ron are completing ninth grade at Aquinas College.
The CBC Carleton Williams Scholarship was created to celebrate the work of Carleton Williams, who contributed greatly to the advancement of the Caribbean Bottling Company as well as his community. The academic scholarship rotates annually between New Providence and Grand Bahama and awards one graduating public primary school student seeking to attend a private high school.