BY ALYSSA MAHADEO
It’s that time of year again! The end of summer sixteen is here and it is time for students to get back into their regular routines, some returning to resume their current education while some are headed on new pursuits to a College and University Education.
For years the Praise Cathedral Worship Centre has been working towards facilitating the developments of the talents of their young Christian leaders providing them with knowledge and encouraging their education through youth empowerment programs and the acknowledgement of social issues in our contemporary society.
“I firmly believe that education is the greatest equalizer,” shares senior Pastor Bishop Lennox Walker. “For every baby that we dedicate at the alter, we open up an educational fund providing the parents with the means to open up an RESP savings account for their child’s future education.”
In addition to their parent’s contributions they encourage friends and family of the children in attendance at the ceremony to gift what they can in addition to the savings, opening accounts dedicated to their young patron’s future education with enough funds to start them on their path to greatness.
“We believe not only in the spiritual mind, but the total mind,” says Bishop Walker, who has had the honor of dedicating most of these young members of the church, recalling as if it was yesterday how he held them at alter and ask God for their blessings to guide them in their new lives.
This September as their young community heads back to school for another year The Praise Cathedral Worship Centre has given $500 scholarships to twenty-seven of its members who are entering or returning to Canadian universities this fall. The scholarship is awarded to all students who are members of or associated with Praise Cathedral Worship, who will be entering university for the first time or returning to complete subsequent years of their secondary education. The scholarships are for new students of the worship community who are headed to University or College for the first time, as well as those entering their third, fourth or even graduate degree years of high education.
The churches’ intention in providing these scholarships is to invest in their young people’s life, with nothing in return but to see them succeed and go on to use their knowledge, let it empower them to give back and use their talents to make a positive change in society.
“When we see brilliance in our youth we encourage it,” explains Bishop Walker.
The Praise Cathedral Worship Centre tries to do their due diligence when it comes to providing these scholarships. They strive for excellence, and hope to help their young community in anyway that they can to complete their education. In some cases, students traveling abroad, or entered into a longer or more technical programs have received full scholarships, because the church is so invested in them completing their education.
“There is a greatness within all of us to succeed,” Bishop Walker believes that in offering these students these scholarships it will encourage them to see the value they hold to the church and in their community. Past recipients of the church scholarship have already begun to see the impact the church has had on them growing up. These high standing citizens who received the scholarship in the past and have since completed their education have returned to offer their own aid to the next generation.
In the facility, the Praise Worship Centre has a gymnasium that they transform into a school environment where young members of the church and community can come and receive extra help. As long as you are registered in the Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) you can attend on Saturdays during the school year to get help from trained teachers in Math, Science, English and any other subjects you might be struggling in free of charge.
Students that received scholarships this year included students headed into University and College for the first time or are currently in the process of completing their Undergraduate Degree. Amongst them is one student going for her Master’s Degree at he University of Queens and another student who is studying internationally in St. Kitts that received $2,500 towards their education.
Recipients of Praise Cathedral Worship Centre Scholarships: Amanda Hutchinson, Lauren Stewart, Jadina Amberlee Henry, Shawnique Rhooms-Thompson, Leslie Burke, Tasja Rhooms, Renee Rankine, Korin DeCordova. Mia Rose-Mighty, Kevin Cohen, Kristina Foster, Tishell Samuels, Rebekah Wilson-Miller, Shad Burnett, Jason McDermott, Christina Kerr, Alyssa Hutchinson, Gianni Luca Dante Maroni, Stefan Knight, Aleeyah Samuels, Datona Fagan, Amika Henry-Hutchinson, Darnell Dobson, Jahail Darby, Darrin Rankine, Gina Maroni and Soraya Darwood.
The students are very grateful to their church for providing them with these scholarships in contribution to their secondary education.
Scholarship recipient Stefan Knight headed into his third year at Seneca shares, “It’s a huge privilege to receive this scholarship, I intend to utilize it fruitfully in my education and eventually give back to the church.”
“I’m really thankful for this scholarship because it’s great to see the church giving back to the community,” explains Alyssa Hutchinson another scholarship recipient going into her second year this week. “It’s sowing into our generation and you will reap what you sow.”
Praise Cathedral Worship Centre will actively work towards empowering people to make healthy life changing and life sustaining choices, to create an atmosphere of Praise and Worship, Love and Unity to the winning of souls for the Kingdom of God.
In July the church participated in a major community outreach, where they served food to approximately 2,500 people and hosted a free concert alongside other entertainment for children. Every Tuesday night there is a sport ministry geared towards the community as well as a food bank, where they distribute food when needed.
“The world is for us, and what we want to have is more productive citizens. I firmly believe that the church should be the leader in producing all of these citizens,” says Bishop Walker. “The moral standard that we set on top of education is unshakeable; we want better citizens because in turn they will help to create a better world.”