Thirty-five gifted students from public primary schools in the Niger Delta region have become the latest recipients of the NNPCL-Shell Cradle-to-Career scholarship. This scholarship covers their entire six years of secondary school education.
Hailing from Rivers, Delta, and Bayelsa States, these students recently completed a week-long orientation program that included introductory courses in academics, character development, and psychology, preparing them for a seamless transition into their new learning environment.
They have been admitted to three well-regarded private schools: Brookstone Secondary School, Jephthah Comprehensive College, and Bloombreed High School, all located in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Igo Weli, General Manager of Corporate Relations at The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited and operator of the joint venture, described the recipients as the “35 shining stars of the Niger Delta.” They emerged through a competitive process that included aptitude tests. Weli made these remarks during the closeout ceremony of the induction, which took place last week.
This latest group of scholars represents the 14th cohort since the scholarship’s inception in 2010, and they bring the total number of beneficiaries to 790.
Emmanuel Anyim, the company’s Manager of Social Performance and Social Investment, represented Shell at the ceremony. He explained, “The Cradle-to-Career program is designed to bridge educational inequalities stemming from geographical and socio-economic disparities and to enhance high literacy levels in the Niger Delta region and Nigeria at large. This initiative contributes to the realization of UNESCO’s ‘Education for All’ goal. Our belief is that the program will also help develop a solid human resource foundation for Nigeria’s development.”
During the ceremony, Professor Kaniye Ebeku, the Rivers State Commissioner for Education, commended the program’s success and the rigorous selection process for students from less-privileged backgrounds. He encouraged the students to focus on their goals, make the best use of their scholarships, and bring pride to their families and program sponsors. He was represented by Emmanuel Onumbu, a director in the state ministry of education.