Scholarship launched in honor of slain siblings | New

A scholarship was launched Friday in honor of murdered Beulah All-Age and Infant School students Sharalee and Rafaella Smith.

The sisters, aged 12 and 5 respectively, were victims of a throat massacre on June 21 in Cocoa Piece, Clarendon. Their mother and two other siblings, including a 23-month-old boy, were also killed in the attack.

The scholarship, a partnership between the Clarendon-based charitable foundation James & Friends and the Delta Shield Company Limited, was launched at the school’s graduation ceremony on Friday.

Little Rafaella, who was due to graduate, was named among the best academic performers.

Each year, two students will benefit from the Sharalee and Rafaella Smith Scholarship. A student entering fifth grade will receive a $250,000 scholarship and another leaving sixth grade will receive a $500,000 scholarship. All beneficiaries will benefit from it every year until the end of higher education.

“As far as the James and Friends Foundation is concerned, academia is at the top, so we are looking for students who are consistent performers,” said Marjorieth Manning, patron and one of the foundation’s directors.

Delta Shield executive director Patricia Garib said the mass murder left her speechless. However, she said her team is excited to be involved with the business, adding that Delta Shield is committed to meeting the needs of students.

Principal Nadine Gayle-Little welcomed the initiative.

“We are happy for that. The names Sharalee and Rafaella Smith will never be forgotten, and we will certainly use them as an incentive in their memory to help students work hard to be the recipients of this scholarship,” said Gayle-Little.

Gayle-Little praised the foundation’s founder and alumnus Otis James and other alumni for continuing to make outstanding contributions to the school.

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