The Lodge at Chaa Creek, internationally recognised for sustainable tourism and responsible travel, has a social development component as well. In addition to providing training opportunities for their staff, Chaa Creek also reaches out to contribute to the community at large with programs such as the annual Eco-Kids educational camp and the Chaa Creek Academic Scholarship Program.
The Academic Scholarship Program provides financial assistance to students undertaking study in various levels of education, including high school, colleges and university. The rigorous scholarships selection process is based on academic performance and financial needs, with an aim towards assisting Belizeans who show academic promise in attaining their goals.
This year Chaa Creek’s Scholarship Committee identified 10 students who will be receiving grants to further their studies, and Chaa Creek GM and Scholarship Coordinator Lucy Fleming said she is very happy with the results.
“When you become involved in something like our scholarship program, you get a real sense of just how dedicated and hardworking many Belizeans are in pursuing their dreams and improving their lives through education. Personally, it gives me a great feeling of optimism for the future of Belize.
“When you hear so much doom and gloom in the news each week, it really is important to stop and realise that there are many people, especially youths, out there who are doing everything they can to better themselves, and here at Chaa Creek we’re happy to do what we can to support deserving students,” she said.
The Chaa Creek Academic Scholarship Program has been assisting students since 1995 and has provided assistance to over 100 recipients. This year’s round of funding is for the 2011 -2012 academic year and will provide significant financial assistance. Scholarship winners will have their tuitions, fees and some books paid for, and are expected to maintain at least an 80% average at the end of each term or semester to remain in the scholarship program.
Ms Fleming said she plans for the program to continue and grow in the future.
“Belize’s future as a strong independent nation depends on Belizeans developing skills and expertise to keep up with and participate in a challenging world. While you always wish you could do more, we see our scholarship program as a very positive step in helping to develop our most precious resource – our young people, and it is heart-warming to see the response we get to this initiative.”
The Chaa Creek Academic Scholarship winners for the 2011 -2012 academic year are:
Abner Pech, Walter Blanco (Sacred Heart College), Seleni Cu, Myra Guzman, Mirna Juarez, Elias Matus (Sacred Heart Junior College), Adrian Locke, Stacey Tzib, Jose Lucero, (St. Ignatius High School) and Vilma Queliz (Nazarene High School).
Ms Fleming said that she congratulates this year’s recipients, wishes them all the best in their endeavours, and looks forward to hearing of their continued academic success.