Report By: Moses Bailey
Gbarnga – Liberia’s former ambassador to the U.S., Mexico and Canada, Jeremiah Sulunteh, has announced local and international scholarships for citizens of Bong County.
Sulunteh announced the provision of 30 scholarships for students at the Bong County Technical College (BCTC) in Gbarnga and two slots for graduate students to study in the U.S.
Sulunteh said beneficiaries of the two U.S. scholarships will be selected from Suakoko District – the county’s 5th electoral district, which is also his native home district.
He said Suakoko has not significantly benefitted from scholarship opportunities he had negotiated in the past for students to study abroad.
He made the pronouncement recently in Gbarnga when he returned from the United States.
“Alcorn State University was able to give us two graduate scholarships that I brought back with me, in nursing and agriculture,” Sulunteh told reporters.
While in the U.S., the former ambassador said, he also negotiated partnerships with Mississippi State University and Jackson State University for student and faculty exchange programs with universities in the county and Liberia by extension.
“In addition to that locally, we are announcing 30 scholarships for BCTC as of today. We have a committee to work on that to select the students,” he said.
He wants applicants that will be selected to put in time and study their lessons, noting, “Scholarships are for scholars”.
”Going forward, students that will be recruited will have to be smart; they got to be out there, do their part while we do our part,” Ambassador Sulunteh added.
While serving in the diplomatic mission, Sulunteh, in 2013 and 2015 negotiated four scholarships for youths in Bong, Lofa, and Nimba Counties to study in the U.S.
He said three of the students have completed their masters programs while one of them is completing his PhD this month.
Jutomue Mulbah, president of the Bong County Youth Caucus, lauded Sulunteh for the scholarships pronounced for the youth.
He believes the offer is “timely” especially when students are struggling to pay their fees to acquire university education.
“This is very encouraging; it will motivate the young people. We just want to say thanks to the ambassador for this wonderful contribution to the education of citizens in Bong,” Mulbah said in an interview with Local Voices.
Mulbah said he recently attended a meeting in Suakoko, comprising citizens who will select the two students for the foreign scholarships.
Former acting president of the Bong County Technical College, Dr. Charles Mulbah (a native of Suakoko) is the chairperson for the vetting committee for the two students.
Cuttington University Faculty Association’s president, Lepolu Torlon, and several other persons are also members of the vetting committee.
Sulunteh, however, promised more opportunities for youth of the county to study abroad through the partnerships with the American universities.