Categorized | Featured, National News

All Bahamas Merit Scholar Named Shannon Butler, 19th Recipient

Lyford Cay Partnered With Education

Shannon Butler is both Queen’s College and Alpha Phi Alpha’s 2013 valedictorian.

He achieved the best overall performance in last year’s BGCSE examinations in grade 11 with nine A’s and one B.

He has a 3.95 grade point average (GPA), is a peer tutor, a member of Junior Achievement (JA) and a volunteer at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH). And this is just an abbreviated list of his accomplishments.

Still, the 17-year-old said he never imagined that one day he would be the proud recipient of a four year $140K All Bahamas Merit Scholar Award.

“It is extremely humbling…” he said during the official announcement at the Ministry of Education yesterday.

“…It comes as a very pleasant surprise; one that will help me tremendously in the pursuit of my dreams at university. It is also an extraordinary honour to be chosen to receive this award among so many other equally intelligent and well-rounded applicants.”

The ABM, a joint venture between the government and the Lyford Cay Foundation, is awarded is awarded annually. The scholarship is given for four years tenable at accredited universities or colleges in the Caribbean, United States, United Kingdom or Canada.

The award includes tuition fees, room and board, one round trip ticket, clothing and a personal and book allowance.

The recipient must maintain a 3.25 GPA for the first year and a minimum GPA of 3.50 for subsequent years.
Shannon said he intends to use the award to not improve and advance his own life, but to eventually improve others.

“After I have accomplished my educational goals, I intend to return to The Bahamas to expand the field of cardiothoracic surgery,” he said.

“I aspire to exercise my benevolence by performing charitable operations and to also establish the first regional cardiopulmonary transplant service and organ donor register in the English speaking Caribbean. These may seem like very lofty goals for a teenage, but with the help of God, I will do everything in my power to turn my dream and passion into reality…I pledge to represent The Bahamas with the highest esteem, dignity and pride.”

The future cardiothoracic surgeon acknowledged that he did not get where he is today alone, as there are many people who have contributed to his success and development over the years.

“I would firstly like to thank God, who has guided my life and allowed me to achieve all of my goals,” he said.

“I also thank my parents, who laid the foundation for my success and made education a priority in my life. I would like to thank my grandparents and my other family members for grooming me into the young man I am today and for all their support, encouragement and love. I would also like to thank my friends…my church family…and I cannot neglect to mention my former teachers at Xavier’s Lower School, who laid a firm academic foundation and created a wonderful stepping stone for high school. Last but not lease, I would like to thank my Queen’s College family, my teachers and administrators for pushing me to be the best I can and for giving me an outstanding education and the tools that I need to enter the next stage of my life confidently.”

Shannon’s mother, Wendy said her son has exceeded all expectations.

“We’re extremely elated about Shannon’s accomplishments to date,” she said. “This year in particular has been a stellar year for Shannon in terms of the number of achievements and today it culminates with him being named the recipient of the All Bahamas Merit Scholarship.”

While he could not say with certainty what the formula is for rearing good children, Shannon’s father, Peter is convinced that relationships play a big role.

“Having a good relationship with God, with family and with the community was instilled in me and I instilled it in Shannon,” he said.

Shannon will pursue a Bachelor of Science in medicine at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

Upon completing St. Andrews, he will specialize in cardiothoracic, which will take an additional 10 years of schooling and residency.

Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald expressed hope that more graduates will embrace the opportunity to return home to assist other students in some beneficial way.

Meantime, Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald has indicated that the much awaited Government National Scholarship Programme (Merit, Academic, Technical and Grants) along with the National Award & Bursary Programme’s successful award recipients will be announced within the next two weeks.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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