New Fortress Energy increases back-to-school support to $18 million

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NEW Fortress Energy (NFE), founded by American businessman and philanthropist Wes Edens, has increased its annual back-to-school support from $10 million to $18 million in covering the cost of computer tablets and laptops to hundreds of students this year.

“Hundreds of students each received a 16GB Fire 7 tablet, while students studying engineering at the university level and who are scholarship recipients of the company will receive Lenovo laptops. In addition, students in remote communities across the island have received Samsung Galaxy tablets with SIM cards through donation to the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology’s ‘Tablets in Schools’ initiative,” the company said in a news release.

“Education is a big focus for our founder and CEO Wes Edens, who believes that every child should have access to education. We also understand that this continues to be an incredibly challenging time for many families, with parents either having lost their jobs or they have been furloughed or had to take a pay cut. We are, therefore, thrilled to be able to provide this level of support to help ease the burden for some parents during this COVID pandemic,” said Verona Carter, vice-president, public affairs, New Fortress Energy.

“These are our future leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators and we remain steadfast in our commitment to helping these high-performing students reach their fullest potential, regardless of their social situation,” she continued.

The company said that in addition to the donation of tablets and laptops, approximately 800 students across Clarendon, St Catherine and St James, where the company operates its LNG plants, received backpacks with notebooks, pens and pencils, plus vouchers valued at $10,000 each, to purchase uniforms and other school supplies.

More than 50 students also received bursaries valued at $50,000 each to cover tuition and external examinations. And the energy company donated hand sanitisers and temperature check machines to the schools during the distribution sessions, as well as reusable masks to the almost 850 students.

Principal of Old Harbour High School Linton Weir thanked the energy company for its continued support of the children.

“On behalf of the entire school body and the parents and students, I really appreciate and applaud NFE for the great community work that they’re doing and for their focus on levelling the playing field so that students with the potential and the desire to secure a bright future for them and their families can do so despite their financial challenges. This support is especially appreciated at a time when the country has had to fast-track virtual learning, [and] I implore the students and the parents to make full use of these education benefits that they’ve received,” said Weir.

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