(JAMAICA OBSERVER) — Newly elected Member of Parliament for Portland Eastern Ann-Marie Vaz says she will be donating her first month’s salary as a member of Parliament to start a tertiary fund in her constituency.
Vaz, in reiterating that her interest in politics was not for the sake of employment but for the opportunity to help multiple persons simultaneously, said the fund would be used to assist students at the tertiary level with expenses.
“I promised that if necessary, I would do it myself. I am keeping my word and setting an example. I am also inviting members of the Portland business community to join me as we create opportunities for the next generation.
“There are many who do not lack the knowledge, but lack the opportunity and resources to make the best of it. I was ridiculed for not completing college; I do not want that fate for any young girl or male who is chasing after their dream,” Vaz said in a release issued by the ruling Jamaica Labour Party.
Vaz, who is founder and director of the One Jamaica Foundation, said that the details of how people can apply to receive assistance will be disclosed at a later date as she urged those who supported her vision as caretaker to join her in this venture.
“I want the young man with engineering skills and the young lady with business or political ambitions to be confident enough to know that if they apply themselves help will be given,” she added.
The current salary for a non-executive member of parliament is just under $300,000 per month. Vaz has, meanwhile, committed to continue seeking donations to bolster the fund. A strong social media user, Vaz stated that the idea came from observing UWI Guild president-elect Christina Williams, who has a passion to help her fellow students.
At the same time, Vaz said that she has many other plans for the constituency that will create opportunities for the youth to maximise their potential and have access to the opportunities that can change their lives.
The scholarships will be focused on specialised studies that can help to build the constituency in hospitality and tourism, skills training, and computer sciences, among others.