The Police Department is celebrating ten years of its Do The Right Thing program. Annually it identifies and publicly honors young individuals in school who have overcome adversity to succeed. Today the top 38 awardees nationwide from each of the police zones gathered at Old Belize on the George Price Highway to find out which among them would be recognized as top national awardee. But while the ultimate decision of the national selection board was as tough as expected, the top two young women awarded share similar circumstances and stories. Both are single mothers of two young children who returned to school to complete their studies and are now looking forward to higher education. The top awardee is Joslyn Chiquillo, formerly of Eden Seventh Day Adventist High School in San Ignacio.
Joslyn Chiquillo, National Winner of Do The Right Thing – “I can say that I am really happy because hard work really pays off and I wasn’t really planning to continue my education because it’s really expensive. But now that I have the opportunity, I am willing to do my best to be someone better for my kids and for my family.”
Reporter – “Now that you know that you’ve gotten the scholarship do you want to go to UB or Sacred Heart or any junior college? Have you been looking into that already?”
Joslyn Chiquillo – “I have already applied for UB – University of Belize and I am starting the 17th of August.”
Second place went to 26 year old Melissa Harris.
Melissa Harris, Runner Up for Do The Right Thing – “Well, I’m excited, honestly, because like our counselor always says, ‘you can face your challenges’ and I have had several challenges throughout my four years in high school. Well, my first year was the hardest but then in my second year, I managed to get a work scholarship from my high school, thankfully to them, I succeed in the remaining three years of my high school and it really pays off at the end and I’m actually excited because I get to get a scholarship to Sacred Heart Junior College to pursue my goals.”
Reporter – “Now, were it not for this would you have been able to continue?”
Melissa Harris – “Probably, yes. But not at the moment like I told my counselor, I might need a job at the moment then return back to be able to continue my career that I’m aiming for and luckily and thankfully to God, everything is possible.”
For their achievements, Chiquillo, who is attending UB in September, received a full tertiary level scholarship, one year’s free internet and a tablet while Harris took home a scholarship and laptop. Third place won a laptop, 4th to 10th five hundred dollars and a plaque and the others each received a plaque.