Diane Graham is the 2017 recipient of the inaugural Bold Goals Scholarship for Girls, awarded by the Nubian Council of Jamaica. The 17-year-old student at St Andrew High School for Girls was selected following a review of her application and a panel interview with council directors Conceptualised by a cadre of leading young women in Jamaican culture – Lacey-Ann Bartley, Jameela Geddes, Kemesha Kelly, Allison Richards, Rasheen Robinson, Kerin Scott, Samara South, Terisa Thompson, and Krystal Tomlinson – the scholarship seeks to afford bright, rounded and promising young women with financial aid at the secondary level while providing mentorship and leadership training.
“We are extremely pleased to have Diane as the standard-bearer for what will become an annual initiative that identifies, awards, and mentors young Jamaican women,” said Kemesha Kelly. The application period ran from August 1-31, 2017, and culminated in an award totalling $100,000 in cash and personal development training for the top applicant. Submissions were judged based on four main criteria: academics, leadership, financial need and community service. “What really won us over was Diane’s essay”, shared Terisa Thompson, an alumna of the institution. “Diane spoke passionately about her bold goal of serving children in need of cardiac care and she has a record of community service that proves her commitment to creating a better Jamaica.”
Now in grade 12, Graham shared, “I plan to pursue my dream of being a medical doctor and later specialising in cardiology. My vision for Jamaica is to see children who are suffering with severe heart problems, or any illness, be taken care of financially, emotionally and mentally. With my education, I plan to start a foundation that will cater to those in need.” Graham was formally presented with her award when Nubian Council directors made a visit to her school. Principal Mrs Sharon Reid was elated by the news. “We are very pleased that Diane has received this inaugural award. We emphasise to our students the importance of service, of giving back, and also integrity in leadership, so we are grateful for this initiative and we look forward to participating and publicising the opportunity in years to come,” Mrs Reid said.