Maliyah Edgecombe, 11, is the fifth Carlton W. Williams Scholarship recipient.
The Grand Bahamian was chosen to receive a full, six-year scholarship for secondary school studies at the Bishop Michael Eldon School in Grand Bahama from Caribbean Bottling Company (CBC) Ltd.
The preteen was chosen because of her stellar grades, glowing recommendations, extracurricular interests in soccer, swimming, dance and playing the piano, as well as the confidence she displayed which the selection committee said was well beyond her years.
The former Hugh Campbell Primary School student, who consistently maintained an “A” average, dreams of one day becoming an oncologist. She said she wants to help others, after several family members tragically passed away from cancer.
Maliyah’s selection brings the number of Carlton W. Williams Scholarship recipients who are having their private secondary school educations fully funded, to nine.
Maliyah joins a cohort that includes 2020 recipient Angela Sands, 2019 recipient Gabriel Hall, 2018 recipients Kennedi Knowles and Anajah Culmer, 2017 recipient Kailena Pinder, and 2016 scholarship recipients, twin brothers D’Ron and T’Ron Strapp.
Each year, the scholarship review panel alternates between selecting a student from the Garvin Tynes Primary School in New Providence and a student from Grand Bahama.
CBC selects one exceptionally bright primary school student to receive the Carleton W. Williams Scholarship.
The six-year award allows the recipient to pursue studies at the secondary school of their choice.
Scholarship selection committee officials Nikia Wells, CBC communications marketing manager, and Gabriella Suighi, CBC activations marketing manager, said each year, they face the difficult task of choosing just one recipient.
After intense deliberation about the “talented and bright group” of sixth-grade students hoping to be selected the scholarship winner, and after narrowing down the applicants and meeting the finalists via Zoom video chats, the scholarship committee chose Maliyah as the scholarship recipient.
“We were once again delighted to interview such bright and ambitious candidates,” said Suighi. “Choosing just one scholarship winner is a great and difficult task.”
Suighi said she was looking forward to the great things Maliyah would accomplish.
In the six years of the scholarship being awarded, twice the committee was unable to select just one person and opted for dual winners – 2018 with recipients Kennedi and Anajah; and in 2016 with the Strapp brothers.
The scholarship, which was started in 2016, was named after the previous owner and chairman of CBC, Carleton W. Williams, who committee members say was committed to nurturing the growth and development of young Bahamians, through education.
His dedication to community, culture, youth and the advancement of the Bahamian business community earned him awards from the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, awarded by Queen Elizabeth; Businessman of the Year, from the Chamber of Commerce; the Paul Harris Fellow, from The Rotary Club; and the Salvation Army Others Award.
Williams passed away in February 2021, but the scholarship selection committee members say his legacy will undoubtedly live on in the young scholars who have received the annual scholarship to continue their education, at the high school of their choice.
Despite a challenging year for many, and navigating a new educational experience in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Angela, Gabriel, Kennedi, Anajah, Kailena, D’ron and T’ron have continued to excel academically and personally.