Danario Deveaux, a senior at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), is the first recipient of the $25,000 Atlantic Medical Insurance (AMI) and Security & General (S&G) Scholarship, which is planned to be an annual award.
The award by the two Colonial Group companies is merit-based. Deveaux was chosen after a process which involved scrutiny of his credentials and an interview by a selection panel. The scholarship will go a long way in helping Deveaux complete his degree in actuarial science at MTSU.
Deveaux currently holds a 4.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) and has been on the dean’s list at MTSU for the past three years. He was the first recipient of the prestigious Urban Entertainment Academic Award at his school and is a member of Gamma Iota Sigma, an insurance and risk management fraternity.
He said he intends to finish his last year at MTSU strong and knows nothing comes easy but through hard work, determination and focus, and he said he was eager to continue to make his family proud.
Paulette Turner, general manager at Security & General, said the scholarship is something that the company wanted to do to encourage more students to pursue a career in the insurance industry.
“There are so many opportunities and career paths that individuals can take. Realizing what the insurance field offers definitely helps with growing a skillful pool of individuals for employment,” said Turner.
Lynda Gibson, executive vice president and general manager of Atlantic Medical, is confident that having younger individuals interested in the many lines of insurance early is key.
“The Colonial Group is always looking for young individuals who can make a difference. The insurance industry continues to change and grow. Therefore, we want to stay relevant and this scholarship gives another person the opportunity to know that this field is open for sharp minds, which is a positive for us,” said Gibson.
Deveaux first heard about the scholarship offer from his older sister, who saw the advertisement in the newspapers. She advised him to apply for the award as he had nothing to lose. The 20-year-old said he was pleasantly surprised when he got the news that he had been chosen. He was grateful to be the first awardee and happy that the funds would assist him and take a financial load off his parents in his final year at university.
Deveaux’s decision to study actuarial science was influenced by his experiences on a summer job at the National Insurance Board (NIB) while he was still a high school student.
“I was speaking with one of the supervisors at NIB and told her about my love of math but was not sure how I could use it for a career. She told me about the field of actuarial science, which I had never heard of, so I researched it. I found out that there was only a small number of Bahamians who were qualified actuaries in the country, so there was a lack of skill in this area. This sparked my interest and that was the turning point when I decided to pursue [actuarial science] as a career,” said Deveaux.
Deveaux is a graduate of Jordan Prince William High School, where he was the former head boy and salutatorian.
The AMI-S&G Insurance Scholarship will be awarded annually at a value of $25,000 per annum for up to two years for Bahamians with a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher and who are undergraduates pursuing studies in insurance, risk management, actuarial science, economics, business or commerce and entering their junior or senior year at an accredited university.