Angela Sands is reaping the reward of hard work as the newest Garvin Tynes Primary School graduate to receive the Caribbean Bottling Company’s (CBC) Carleton Williams Scholarship, which means her education for the next six years at the private school of her choice, is absolutely free, as long as she maintains a 3.00 and above grade point average (GPA).
Sands, 12, who graduated with a 3.75 cumulative GPA, has elected to attend St. John’s College.
She impressed the scholarship committee with her academic performance and her commitment to the arts. In addition to playing the violin, she is a junior debutante, is involved in her church and is a volunteer at the Salvation Army of The Bahamas.
Members of the CBC scholarship committee say choosing a recipient each year is a difficult task, due to the exceptional applicants they receive. After narrowing down this year’s applicants and meeting the finalists via Zoom video chats, due to COVID-19, the CBC team said Sands was selected to be this year’s scholarship recipient.
She joins the elite group of CBC Scholarship recipients, which includes 2019 recipient Gabriel Hall, 2018 recipients Kennedi Knowles and Anajah Culmer, 2017 recipient K. Kaiya Pinder and 2016 scholarship winners D’Ron & T’Ron Strapp.
Hall attends Sunland Baptist Academy on Grand Bahama.
Knowles and Culmer currently attend St. John’s College and Aquinas College, respectively.
Pinder is a student at Bishop Michael Eldon High School.
The Strapp twin brothers are at Aquinas College.
Past scholarship winners have also displayed their altruistic side. Earlier this year, the Strapp brothers and Knowles returned to their former primary school to remind the students of the importance of education, which the Strapps described as a “passport”, and encouraged the students to make application for the scholarship that could afford them the opportunity of free private school secondary education.
During the interview process, the CBC scholarship panel – which is comprised of Nikia Wells, CBC communications marketing manager; Gabriella Suighi, CBC activations marketing manager; and Karla Wells-Lisgaris, CBC brand manager – also met Roanna Saintil, 10, who they say instantly impressed them with her 4.00 GPA, grace and presence.
They were also impressed by Saintil’s wit, charm, interest in learning languages and passion for creating comic books. But as only one scholarship was available, Wells-Lisgaris reached out to private donors, and a second, one-year scholarship, was awarded to Saintil, which would allow her to attend a private school in the fall.
“Our team was so impressed with this year’s crop of CBC Carleton Williams Scholarship applicants,” said Wells. “Each year, it gets more difficult to choose a winner. We met some amazing scholars, who are not only truly intelligent and actively involved in their schools and communities, but also charismatic and engaging. We were ecstatic to award Angela with a scholarship, and truly elated that several private donors were also able to award Roanna with a one-year scholarship to continue her studies.”
This is not the first year the committee has helped a second student to at least receive some form of secondary private school education. In 2019, Freeport Primary School student Patrick Knowles had also applied for the Carleton Williams Scholarship, which went to former Sunland Baptist Academy student Gabriel Hall, but Knowles impressed the committee so much that Wells-Lisgaris, who is also a Bahamas Light Industries Development Council (BLIDC) vice president, was inspired to reach out to her fellow board members about creating a scholarship for him.
The BLIDC stepped up to provide Patrick with the first BLIDC scholarship, a six-year scholarship, at Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Academy, courtesy of Digiprint, Purity Bakery, Epic Battery, Blanco Chemicals, Aquapure and Cartwright’s Bedding.
Garvin Tynes Primary School sixth grade students can apply for the Carleton Williams Scholarship by visiting www.cbcbahamas.com. Applicants must be Bahamian citizens, present a need of financial assistance, have a 3.00 GPA or above, show evidence of involvement in community and extracurricular activities, be able to attend the required candidate interviews and have an acceptance letter from their chosen private school.
The CBC Carleton Williams Scholarship was created to celebrate the work of 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.
Williams, CBE, was born in 1929, the second of eight children, to humble beginnings. After receiving his secondary education at the Government High School, he began employment at the Treasury Department, where he learned the fundamentals of accounting and finance. He transitioned easily into the private sector, taking a position at Navios Corporation, a subsidiary of the United States Steel Corporation. He later tested his business acumen, becoming an entrepreneur in 1964, as a contractor for a housing development. From there, he expanded his business to include retailing building supplies, and later expanded into fast-food, when he introduced McDonald’s to The Bahamas.
The manufacturing sector was Williams’ next undertaking, with the purchase of CBC, local producer of Coca-Cola products. With his reputation as a strong businessman, he was invited to serve on several prestigious boards, including but not limited to New Providence Development Company Ltd., the Central Bank of The Bahamas and Automotive Industrial Distributors Ltd. Recognizing the importance of giving back, he also served as a member of the board for local charities, such as the Salvation Army and the Crippled Children’s Committee.
Committed to education, at age 50, Williams earned his MBA from the University of Miami. In 2016, at the age of 87, Williams resigned as the chairman of the board for CBC, and in honor of his contributions to both industry and The Bahamas, the Carleton Williams Caribbean Bottling Company Scholarship was created.