Continuing its commitment to the development of human resources in the Federation with focus on the youth, the St. Kitts and Nevis Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) has launched Recognising Everyone’s Ability to Climb Higher (REACH).REACH is designed to assist students financially to advance their education upon completing fifth form, and to provide school-leavers seeking immediate employment with training and a stipend in preparation for work. REACH comprises two components – Educational Scholarships for Students in Advanced Institutions (ESSAI) and Training for Optimal Performance of School-leavers (TOPS).

ESSAI is a national program that awards two-year scholarships to students pursuing studies at Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) – Division of Arts, Science and General Studies (ASGS) and Division of Technical and Vocational Education and Management Studies (TVEMS) – and the Nevis Sixth Form College. To be eligible for a scholarship, students must have completed fifth form in the Federation in 2014, and gained acceptance into CFBC or the Nevis Sixth Form College for the 2014-2015 academic year. Students who completed their first year at CFBC or the Nevis Sixth Form College in 2014 are also eligible for a scholarship. The scholarship provides a basic annual allowance of $2,500.00 with additional funds for every pass above five CXC CSEC subjects.

TOPS has two tiers – Vocational and Professional. In the Vocational tier, individuals are provided with two-year grants to pursue technical and vocational studies at the Advanced Vocational Education Centre (AVEC) leading to Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) certification. To be eligible for an annual grant of $2,000.00, students must have completed compulsory education or fifth form in the Federation. Students who completed the first year at AVEC in 2014 are also eligible for a scholarship.

To encourage a spirit of community, all students who are awarded a scholarship or a grant are required to perform volunteer community service monthly at an organization of their choice which has been approved by SIDF.

The Professional Tier offers three months of job skills training to recent school-leavers who are committed to advancing their personal and professional development in preparation for employment. In addition, participants will receive a monthly stipend of $1,400.00. To be eligible, students must have completed fifth form, AVEC, CFBC or the Nevis Sixth Form College in the 2014.

All applications must be submitted via the SIDF website – and applications must be received by September 10, 2014.

As part of its role to advance the development of human capacity and the transformation of the economy, SIDF has made various contributions to the education sector. Prior to initiating REACH, approximately $21 million was invested in projects and programs to assist students pursuing studies at various institutions in the Federation and overseas.