BY JELANI GRANT
The United Achievers’ Club awarded fifteen new post-secondary students with their UAC Scholarship Program for the 32nd year, continuing a tradition of support for Black and Caribbean students.
The Courtyard by Marriott Hotel’s banquet hall rang with the distinct sound of the steel pan, played by two young and talented performers, ushering in the guests as they found their designated tables. Hosted by Ten81 Lifestyle President Jesse Jones, the dinner requested suits and dresses, inducting the budding post-secondary students into the adult world. “Ions ago I was sitting at a table just like this, so to be back here contributing to such a wonderful organization after actually receiving an award before I went off to university means a lot…I’m honoured to be here today”, said Jones.
Through the Ten81 Lifestyle organization, Jones develops the public image of brands by creating connections between the companies and their target consumers. Jones’ employs digital and social media listening strategies along with further research methods to assess the conversations that the target consumer group is having in real time. Jones hosted the dinner ceremony for the first time replacing his father, Jones & Jones Productions co-founder, Allan Jones. “I’ve hosted for past years but I’m just coaching tonight”, Jones said of his son.
In attendance were sponsors such as the Peel Regional Police, Jennifer Cave-Williams, members from Sterling Dental, and United Achievers’ Community Services Inc. DJ and motivational speaker Jonothan Shaw provided music while world class Canadian Saxophonist Dave McLaughlin was the entertainment for the night. Tanya Walker was special guest speaker.
The United Achievers’ Club of Brampton Inc. is a non-profit organization established in 1980. The founding members were the late Dennis Bascombe, Prior Bonas, John Charles, Neville Harrison, Kenton Hendricks, the late Edison Joseph, Larry Maloney, Peter Paul, Ken Rose, the late Tony Rousseau, and Glen Sloley. Being Canadians of Black and Caribbean heritage, they sought to provide avenues through which people from these communities could express their culture and add to the rich multicultural blend of Peel Region.
The United Achievers’, led by a volunteer Board of Directors and current president Lucinda Sloley, is comprised of one organization with three separate incorporated units – the UAC, the United Achievers’ Community Services (UACS) and the United Achievers’ Non-Profit Housing Corporation (UANPHC). Any paid-up member of the United Achievers’ Club, has the opportunity to hold an office on any of the three Boards. The UACS advocates and supports families in the community, works towards maintaining and improving the health of seniors, providing supports groups and transitional housing for women and organizing youth programs such as spelling bees, summer camps and youth arts initiatives.
One of the first actions the UAC brought to the community was investing in the black youth in their area by providing scholarships to eligible high-school students entering their first year of college or university. The UAC’s first scholarship was awarded in 1985 and since then, more than 340 students have received scholarships, summing up to approximately $340,000 in funding for school fees. The UAC’s Scholarship program was created with the goal of investing in the youth of Peel Region by providing them with the opportunity to find meaningful role model positions within the community.
In order to qualify for one of these scholarships, applicants must have a strong academic record, have completed their final year of secondary school in Canada, have a confirmed admittance into a recognized college or university, be actively involved in the community and any extra-curricular activities, be of Black or Caribbean heritage and be in need of funding.
Those interested in contributing to the activities of the UAC can find more information about them by visiting their website. In the meantime, the organization will continue to raise the consciousness of Black and Caribbean people and welcomes anyone who shares their goals.