Excelsior student seeks help to pay million-dollar UWI law tuition

Excelsior High student Kerece Brown is in limbo after being accepted by The University of the West Indies’ (UWI) Law School, yet cannot find the more than $1 million to pay for tuition.

The 19-year-old sixth-form student told the Jamaica Observer in an interview that after the initial excitement she felt at being accepted to UWI, her sister brought her back to Earth and reminded her that the family doesn’t have the money to fund her dream. Now, she is seeking assistance from the general public.

“I found out that I got accepted around two to three months ago to complete my law degree… I felt so overwhelmed [at the time]. I was so happy that I got accepted because I’ve always wanted to become a lawyer. So you know when you realise you actually have a chance, that feeling is so overwhelming. I couldn’t believe it,” said Brown, who is the last of seven children for her parents.

Continuing, she stated, “When I found out I got accepted to UWI, I called my sister and told her. I was screaming and she was like, ‘yes I know that you’re excited but remember the school fee,’ and I said to her that the money might not be here right now but I have faith that from I got accepted God will make a way for me to find the funds.”

Despite having faith that she will be able to attend university, Brown was still apprehensive of her uncertain future.

“When she (her sister) said that, I felt like this stress just came down on me, I really felt pressured, because I know for a fact that I want to attend university. I know that my parents cannot afford it and I wouldn’t want them to go out of their way because I know that they will do anything possible for me to have a better future, something that they did not have,” the student said.

Brown has successfully completed nine CSEC (Caribbean Secondary Examination Council) subjects and eight CAPE (Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination) subjects — with grade one distinctions included. She said her 59-year-old mother is the breadwinner of the family of 12 and she understand that she is unable to pay the tuition.

“My [parents] have seven children. However, my nieces and nephews also reside with my mother because their parents are not currently here. One of them, their parents died from cancer and the other two, their parents are overseas, so they live with my mother right now. My father isn’t working now because of his age… and I have my mother here fighting for me, having a sleepless nights, struggling just to make ends meet, so I think it is my point of duty to go to university so I can make my family better… so we can have a better and comfortable life,” she said.

Brown further stated that in an effort to gain acceptance to the university, she would take extra classes and would even wake up in the middle of the night to study because that was the only time her house would be completely quiet.

In addition, the student said she would love the opportunity to study law so that she can be a positive contribution to society and her Red Pond, St Catherine community.

“I live in an area where I see many injustices happen. I have friends that I see things happen to and I know in myself that it is wrong and I cannot do anything to solve it, so I want to put myself in a position where I can be there for someone else, like how I would’ve wanted someone to be there for me. You know, someone to fight for me… we need some justice in our society for our society to function and remain on track.”

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