Over the past decade, Dart has awarded scholarships to 26 university undergraduates and 20 high school students in a programme designed to support and mentor bright, young Caymanians through school and into the workplace.
Based on academic excellence and with a focus on the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the 2022 Dart scholarships are now open for applications.
Dart Scholars past and present are a powerhouse of Caymanian talent, with 85% of university graduates moving on to do master's or doctorate programmes. Six alumni are already in the workplace (two at Dart and four gaining experience overseas). With degrees in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, business and medicine, Dart Scholars are bringing back a wealth of knowledge and skills to Cayman.
The boost provided by a Dart scholarship extends beyond financial support, as scholars receive regular mentoring, hands-on work experience at Dart and annual enrichment trips. The opportunity to learn real-life skills starts with the application process.
“Even the process of applying gives students good experience and increases their confidence for future interviews and job applications,” said Glenda McTaggart, Dart's senior manager of education programmes who administers the selection process and provides ongoing support and mentoring to scholars. “We also invite Dart Scholar alumni to participate in the interview round, as it gives them interview experience from the other side, and helps put candidates at ease.”
When asked about his application experience, Dart’s 2021 university scholar Aiden Watler said the interviewers were "really supportive."
"They just wanted you to show your enthusiasm for education in your chosen field and what makes you unique.”
There are five elements for successful applicants to complete, starting with submitting their resume and a free-form essay outlining their education and career goals. Candidates are scored on their grades, extracurricular activities and essay, with extra weight given to mathematics and science grades.
Top applicants are invited to take a STEM-based test before moving to the interview stage. A shortlist of five candidates is then put forward to the final selection committee for an independent review by Dart executives and business leaders from the community. Results are then pooled to award scholarships to two high school students and one university student each year.
To ensure fairness and eliminate the risk of bias, applicant names are kept anonymous throughout the process.
Caymanian students in Grade 8/Year 9 are eligible for a four-year Dart High School Scholarship at the school of their choice. Deadline for submission is 6 April 2022.
Caymanian students aged 17-25 with an offer (or conditional offer) from any accredited institution can apply for the William A. Dart Memorial University Scholarship. Deadline for submission is 19 May 2022.
Full details on how to apply can be found at dartscholar.ky where bios and news from current Dart Scholars can also be found.
This article appears in the March 2022 print edition of the Camana Bay Times.
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