The GemStar Scholarship Fund, the brainchild of
Gemma Raeburn-Baynes, president of Playmas Montreal Cultural Association, aims to support deserving Black youth in achieving their dreams through the power and pursuit of higher education.
She calls this initiative her “70s Project”- giving back, 60 years later, to students in the Black Community.
“I started my advocacy at nine years old in my native land of Grenada, teaching children on my veranda during summer break from my school year. I am so excited to now launch this Scholarship program to support Black youth in my community. It is my dream coming to fruition after over 60 years”, says Raeburn-Baynes.
This initiative is sponsored by BMO Bank of Montreal, Gemma’s employer for over 35 years. Deserving Black high school students aspiring to further their studies will get a chance to receive a GemStar Scholarship of $1500 each, under the auspices of Playmas Montreal Cultural Association, in association with BMO Bank of Montreal’s Black Entrepreneur Program.
Based on academic performance and involvement in the Black community, two eligible Black students will be identified by the administration and guidance counsellors at each of six high schools on the island of Montreal. Three of the 12 candidates will ultimately be selected by The GemStar Scholarships committee.
Recipients of the GemStar scholarships will be announced on September 29, 2022, at an event hosted by BMO.
The awards will be presented in 2023 at the end of the school year, following the students’ graduation.
For information on GemStar Scholarship, kindly send an email to email@example.com or visit their website at www.playmasmontreal.com.