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Tyrese Harriott grateful for JFF-Wisynco scholarship

Published:Sunday | December 3, 2023 | 12:12 AMLivingston Scott - Gleaner Writer
Tyrese Harriott
Tyrese Harriott

TYRESE HARRIOTT, the male recipient of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and Wisynco Foundation scholarship, said the boost, valued at $300,000, came just when he was at his most desperate moment.

Heading into his final year at The University of the West Indies (UWI), the former Jamaica College student was feverishly searching online for scholarship opportunities when he saw the JFF-Wisynco scholarship and applied.

“I realised when I was going through scholarship opportunities in August. I saw a partnership with JFF and Wisynco giving scholarships, not just to student-athletes but to anyone involved in education.

“I was doing education and sports so I applied. The process was fairly easy. I didn’t hear anything after applying but, a few weeks ago, the general secretary (Dennis Chung) called and let me know I was the lucky recipient. I was truly elated,” said Harriott.

The scholarship, which is in its first year, is for two student-footballers, one boy and one girl, who have been accepted by a tertiary institution, and Harriott intends to set a good example for other recipients to follow.

“I saw it as God saying this one is for me. I intend to take the opportunity with both hands and make the best of it. This is the inaugural scholarship and I want to make sure those who follow after me will also see there is someone out there willing to help youngsters doing sports and want to pursue their academics, to help propel them forward and give them the chance they always wanted,” he said.

Harriott, who played football up to the Under-16 level at high school, left upper sixth form at Jamaica College in 2018 and is pursuing a physical therapy degree at UWI.

However, the Above Rocks native revealed he was facing some very difficult times when the scholarship came and he is just happy he found it when he did.

“My situation has been tough. I am from a rural background and my parents, really and truly, when I brought the idea of university to them, they were more concerned about how they would fund it. So I have had to call on so many persons and family, who help here and there, doing what they can, along with loan institutions.

“So this really came at the right time, to say, here is a chance, go make the best of it. So this was super great and I really appreciate it,” he said.

He added that his plan is to work in football, as the sport is responsible for the person he has become.

“Football has brought me to where I am today because I have had many mentors through the sport who always told me I should also focus on my academics. So I am grateful to those who gave me that advice.

“Where I am from, not a lot of athletes get an opportunity that I have now. So I want to show them it is possible with a little faith, hard work and determination.

“I want to thank the JFF, Wysinco, all my family members, mentors, coaches, the Most High, everyone who has gotten me here. I hope to make them all proud.

So I plan to graduate with flying colours, and hope that, next year, someone can benefit from this opportunity as well.”