40th Anniversary UWC Bahamas
Bahamas United World College National Committee announces its 40th anniversary
The year 2012 commemorates the fortieth year of service to The Bahamas by the UWC National Committee and the fiftieth anniversary for United World Colleges International.
The Bahamas UWC National Committee, which is comprised of a volunteer group of committed individuals, is proud of their record of achievement which includes ninety-three (93) scholarships awarded to date with a significant increase in the annual scholarships and placements over the past three years from one or two per year to the current number of nine scholar-ambassadors who are presently completing their two-year IB degrees abroad.
Committee Chairperson, Mrs B.J. Deveaux expressed sincere thanks to the donors and sponsors who have made the funding for these scholarships possible and urged more members of the public to support the efforts of the Committee. “Our mission is to continue to make these unique educational opportunities available to students from both the public and private schools throughout the entire Bahamas. We encourage students, particularly those from the public schools, to complete the application process for this year which closes on Tuesday, January 31, 2012 (http://www.bahamas-uwc.org/). The UWC experience is without doubt an amazing force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.”
Nelson Mandela, the UWC Honourary President stated, “The striking thing about the United World College is that they embrace the entire world across all divides of race, history, culture, wealth, religion, economic status and political belief: they are unique and they are conscious of their responsibilities.” The Bahamas UWC National Committee applauds the vision of Nelson Mandela and supports the UWC mission to educate the whole person. This is carried out in 13 UWCs located on five continents including: UWC Mostar - Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lester B Pearson/UWC of the Pacific in Canada, UWC Costa Rica, Li Po Chung - UWC of Hong Kong, UWC Mahindra - India, UWC of the Adriatic – Italy, UWC Red Cross Nordic – Norway, UWC of South East Asia – Singapore, UWC Waterford Kamhlaba - Swaziland, Simon Bolivar/UWC of Agriculture – Venezuela, UWC of the Atlantic – Wales, and UWC Maastricht – the Netherlands.
It is well established that UWC represents significant opportunities for excellence in academics, tremendous exposure to diversity, and an essential commitment of “giving back” to the communities, nations and the world. In the words of Her Majesty Queen Noor, UWC President, “I suspect that no one would argue that UWC’s ideals of peace and international understanding are not as relevant – perhaps more relevant – in today’s conflict-scarred world than when our first College was opened more than four decades ago in the aftermath of the Second World War and as an antidote to international conflict.”
Over the forty years of UWC Bahamas’ history, the awarding of scholarships by the Committee has provided opportunities for its students to engage in an exceptional two year transition period between leaving the standard high school environment and entering a college or university. Travelling abroad and interacting with persons from other cultures is an amazing way to truly experience globalization. One of the alumni sums up the experiences of fellow UWC scholar-ambassadors by describing it as “positive, life changing and the best decision ever made.”
The benefits of a UWC education are numerous, not only socially, but economically as well. Upon completion of the UWC IB Programme, students are eagerly courted by well-known colleges and universities around the world and are most often granted substantial scholarships, particularly from the Shelby Davis Foundation (http://www.davisuwcscholars.org/) which provides scholarships to ninety-five (95) distinguished institutions in the United States. This, in and of itself, is a tremendous incentive to attend a UWC.
A brief look at the list of alumni and current students is further proof of the success of the programme and incentive for interested students to apply. As the Committee’s ultimate goal is to establish a UWC right here in The Bahamas, it welcomes donations from the public and the participation of alumni, students, and others who are interested in the UWC mission. Alumni are encouraged to join the UWC Bahamas Facebook page.