Duo land $25,000 Nicholl scholarships
An aspiring neurologist and a budding veterinary surgeon have received scholarships of $25,000 each towards their studies.
VaShon Williams, 22, and Olivia Moore, 20, beat out a “great, mixed group of finalists” that were interviewed for the annual Nicholl scholarship.
Mr Williams will be pursuing a doctorate of medicine at Loma Linda University, in California. He told The Royal Gazette: “As the last of eight sons, I am very well aware of the financial limitations of my family.
“In an effort to ensure that my mother did not suffer under the financial burdens of my educational costs, I applied to the Nicholl Scholarship and I was ecstatic to find out that I was a winner.
“As can be imagined, the costs associated with medical school are significantly large. Additionally, the cost of living in California is one of the higher ones in the country. The scholarship has assisted me in meeting the financial requirements for room and board, helped me to purchase textbooks, and covered the costs necessary of lab equipment.
“I am very grateful to the scholarship committee and to the trustees of the Nicholl Scholarship for selecting me as a worthy recipient. Although I have not yet decided on a specialisation, I am considering neurology and nuclear medicine. Both of these specialities intrigue me and would prove extremely relevant to Bermuda.”
After receiving his degree, Mr Williams expects to return to the island to serve the community through the “provision of exemplary medical care”.
Olivia Moore is pursuing a bachelor of veterinary medical science at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom.
She said: “I was ecstatic to receive the news that I was chosen to be the Nicholl Scholarship recipient this year as I knew what a prestigious award it was. It will help my family and allow me to fulfil my dream of becoming a veterinary surgeon without debt after graduation.”
The award is given in the memory of Albert E. Nicholl, a man who dedicated much effort to education in Bermuda. By his will he gave the bulk of his estate in trust to provide scholarships to young Bermudians for education at accredited universities in the Britain and the United States.
During his lifetime Mr Nicholl contributed to a wide variety of local charities. Through his donations he founded the Nicholl Institute, a manual training school enabling boys to learn a trade and established scholarships at Dellwood, the Berkeley Institute and Saltus during the period when Bermudian secondary schools charged fees to enable students to obtain secondary education.
Rick Spurling, chairman of Nicholl trustees, added: “As always we had a great mixed group of finalists interviewed and each one is deserving of a scholarship if only we had the money to do it. The Nicholl scholarship pays out every year for about 12 to 16 ongoing Bermudian scholars, about $300,000 to $400,000. Each year for some time we have been able to award four scholarships for three or four years each but this year due to lower investment income and paying serious regard to preserving our capital for future Bermudian scholars we reluctantly decided to award only two.
“You cannot imagine how difficult it is to tell a hardworking, talented, achieved Bermudian student ‘no'. In any event the Nicholl trustees have taken the responsible route no matter how painful it is. Why do I keep doing this? To see and meet the best Bermuda has to offer is so encouraging and reassuring for the future of Bermuda that I would hate to retire from it.”