In March 2013, at Immaculate Conception High School in Jamaica, when Sathara Hendricks assured her friends that she was going on to study at The University of the West Indies, there was one small problem. She had no idea where the money was coming from for tuition or books. As Sathara prepared her application, her mother, a single parent, was laid off, followed by the cousin who had offered to be her student loan guarantor. Not one to give up on her dreams, she applied for and received a UWI-Toronto Benefit Gala Scholarship for three years of undergraduate study at The UWI Mona Campus.
When Sathara was invited to speak at the seventh annual fundraiser in Toronto, it was the first time she had travelled on an aircraft out of Jamaica. She told donors this simple truth, "I would not be here without you." Sathara is now an honours student and representative for the BA in Integrated Marketing at the Caribbean Institute of Media & Communication.
CARIMAC recently celebrated its 40th Anniversary by introducing new programmes such as Digital Media Production, and launching plans for expansion that include new studio and classroom facilities, as well as courses in burgeoning creative fields such as Animation, Game Design, and Film.
Perhaps the most important work Sathara has done so far, however, is to establish a bursary at her former primary school, enabling students to move on to the next stage of their education. She is one of many UWI students giving back in areas of need. The UWI STAT (Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow) initiative was established by the Office of the Vice-Chancellor to nurture ambassadors who would be leaders to fellow students, alumni, and The UWI community. To date, seven UWI STAT Ambassadors have been awarded Rhodes Scholarships, including Cherrelle Dacon and Tariq Parker in 2015. STAT students give of their time and effort, working toward Caribbean Integration, HIV/AIDS Prevention, Disaster Mitigation and Risk Management and other areas of need in the Caribbean.Scholarship recipient, Sathara Hendricks, at The UWI-Toronto Benefit Gala.