By Prisca Sam-Duru
As part of its commitment towards encouraging excellence in education, an association, Akauzu Ace Club recently launched its maiden tertiary education scholarship award scheme. The annual scholarship scheme took off with the presentation of cash awards to four recipients in the community.
The Club, a socio-cultural association established about 30 years ago by young and dynamic indigenes of autonomous communities comprising the old Umuozu of Nwangele LGA of Imo state established the scholarship award for undergraduates of public universities in Nigeria who are indigenes of both Isiala-Umuozu and Umuozu Autonomous communities of Nwangele LGA of Imo State.
The scholarship is awarded to the recipients on a per academic session basis for the duration of their undergraduate programme to the sum of one hundred and twenty-five thousand Naira, per session.
The criteria for the award according to the Akauzu Ace Club Chancellor, Dr Kizito Alakwe, is that the “Recipient has a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.5 and above at the point of award and that the recipient maintains or surpasses his/her current CGPA going forward to continue to enjoy the scholarship amongst others. Thus, the sole aim of the award is to reward and encourage continued academic excellence among indigenes of the host communities of Akauzu Ace Club”.
During the Award ceremony held at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church Umuozu, four students were awarded the initial grants. They include; Ogechukwu Agazue (Part 2, Medicine and Surgery, Abia State University, Uturu with CGPA of 4.5), Chukwuebuka Nwosu (Part 2, Agric. Economics, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike with a CGPA of 4.2), Cynthia Awazie (Part 2, Pharmacy, University of Nigeria, Nsukka with a CGPA of 3.75), and Kelechukwu Okeke (Part 3, Mass Communications, Imo State University, Owerri with a CGPA of 3.5).
The award is meant to be on a per session basis till the completion of the first degree programme of the recipients subject to maintaining required standards while subsequent awards to other recipients shall be undertaken by the club on annual basis.
Speaking further, Dr Alakwe called on the recipients to emulate the noble ideals of the club which include the continual pursuit of excellence in their endeavours and the spirit of giving back to one’s community. He also encouraged other attendees to join the club in the effort to ensure that students of the community who are doing well in school are encouraged to achieve their full potential to the overall interest and benefit of the community.
While the Chairman of Akauzu Ace Club Scholarship Committee, Chief Ezimako Nzeaka enjoined the recipients to remember the basis upon which they were awarded the scholarship and ensure that they do not drop their standards, the keynote Speaker, Dr. Lazarus Uzoechi of the Department of Software Engineering of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, used his own personal experiences as an indigent scholar to buttress the need for communal intervention to support and encourage deserving students in their pursuit of excellence.
He also encouraged the recipients to see the award as a launch pad to achieve greater academic heights, both for their personal benefit and that of their community and nation.
Speaking on behalf of other recipients, Miss Ogechukwu Agazue thanked the club for encouraging them to soar in their education, pledging not to disappoint on the privilege.
“We will take a note from the award to also join in giving back to our community when we are through with our studies and gainfully employed”, She promised.
Several other speakers also expressed delight with the initiative of Akauzu Ace Club and promised to partner with the club to ensure that the scholarship scheme is sustained and enlarged in scope.