MONROVIA – Forty-six students from Nimba, Bong, and Grand Bassa Counties have been awarded fully paid scholarship opportunities by the management of ArcelorMittal Liberia under the company’s Community Scholarship Program launched in June 2022.
Thirty percent (30%) of the scholarship recipients are females, while a total of forty-two are in public colleges and universities and four are in high school. They include eleven (11) from Grand Bassa County, nineteen (19) from Bong, and sixteen (16) from Nimba.
At the scholarship awards ceremony held Friday in Buchanan, AML’s Chief Executive Officer Jozephus Coenen said he was impressed by the level of gratitude expressed by the scholarship recipients and assured that the company will continue to support programs that promote the education, development, and training of Liberia’s youthful population.
He said AML is proud to be sharing the dividends of its operations.
“Yes, we create values, and if we create values, we have to share with others. We must share that value with the country and particularly with the counties that we are in and in those communities and the people.
CEO Coenen said with the company’s Phase Two expansion project, Liberia and the people of Bong, Nimba and Grand Bassa Counties will benefit more.
“There is no doubt that with our expansion project, in 2024-2025, we will be able to produce 15 million metric tons per annum of iron ore, three times as much as we produce now in a year. This means that we will be able to create more values and we will also be able to share more values. By this, we will be able to also increase our scholarships.
CEO Coenen encouraged the students to be focused on their studies and cognizant that despite the challenges they may be experiencing, their passion for education and their commitment will pay off in the future. He cited his own personal experience growing up and studying in Australia and not having the same financial opportunities as some of his colleagues, something he said made him a little jealous.
Driven by ArcelorMittal’s corporate responsibility value to help train and develop a literate and skilled workforce to support Liberia’s socioeconomic development, the Community Scholarship Program provides scholarships and financial assistance to deserving students in colleges and senior high schools in Nimba, Bong, and Grand Bassa Counties.
Recipients of the scholarship were full of gratitude and praised ArcelorMittal Liberia for supporting such an initiative which they said will ease the financial burden they have faced.
“For and on behalf of the students of Bong County, I want to say a very big thank you to ArcelorMittal Liberia. I personally want to thank you because I know what I experienced back when it comes to school fees. I almost didn’t take my final exam because I owed the school. But with this scholarship from ArcelorMittal, I know that I’m going to make better use of it, and I also hope and pray that all beneficiaries will do the same,” explained Comfort G. Giwlay, Student, at Bong County Technical College.
The students hailed the scholarship awards committee for the transparency and fairness of the vetting process.
Armstrong Mee Reeves, Student, at Grand Bassa University said: “I want to extend my thanks and appreciation to the management of ArcelorMittal Liberia and everyone who worked together to give us this scholarship. This scholarship was very transparent. We know that this was not a hasty decision by the company but that they saw that we young people attending high schools and universities need help. I promise that the assistance they are rendering to us will not be in vain. We will make you all proud.”
County Education Officials of Bong, Nimba, and Grand Bassa Counties who attended the event thanked ArcelorMittal Liberia for its continued investment in education for Liberia’s youth.
“We see that ‘Mittal’ has come back to Grand Bassa, Bong, and of course Nimba. We are proud of you ArcelorMittal. We are proud of you, and we stand with you as a county authority, because you’ve gone beyond the mark. It’s gone over that ArcelorMittal is the Government’s best partner. You have given us hope that we can rely on as citizens, and as county and national leaders. We are grateful,” said Daniel Willie, Fiscal Affairs Superintendent, Grand Bassa County.
The Community Scholarship Program supports students majoring in STEM-related areas of study at accredited public universities in Nimba, Bong, and Grand Bassa Counties, as well as high school students in these counties who are residents in the immediate operational areas of ArcelorMittal Liberia.
The program offers full tuition and other fees for college students while senior high school students will receive tuition and fees and one set of textbooks prescribed by the Ministry of Education.
The Community Scholarship Program is a further demonstration of ArcelorMittal Liberia’s commitment to the socio-economic development of Liberia, and it complements other important initiatives and programs that ArcelorMittal Liberia is supporting to educate, train and develop Liberians, especially in its operational areas.
These include: a) the Advanced Academic Studies Scholarship Program, which provides $200,000 scholarships annually for advanced university degree programs; b) the ArcelorMittal Liberia Schools in Yekepa, Nimba County; c) the ArcelorMittal Liberia Training Academy (formerly the VTC) in Yekepa, Nimba County; and d) various training programs for employees of ArcelorMittal Liberia; and e) financial support to the Mining and Geology Programs at the Nimba University College amongst others.