Minister Jacobs and students arrive in the Netherlands

On Monday July 30, Minister Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs and her delegation arrived in Holland safely with the group of 58 St. Maarten students.

The Minister and students were greeted upon arrival by Minister Plenipotentiary Hon. Mathias Voges, Deputy Minister Plenipotentiary Hon. Henrietta Doran-York, Advisor Perry Geerlings, Chairlady of Student Support Service St. Maarten (S4) Brenda Emmen-Hassell, employees of S4 and many senior St. Maarten student volunteers.
The students were then transported by bus to the Hotel Schiphol A4 (Ven der Valk) where a reception ceremony/lunch was organized in their honor. The reception included an intake process where students were informed about the following: medical insurance policy from NNAM representative Bertil Postema and staff; opened bank accounts with ABN-AMRO bank; signed rental agreements with the various housing foundations; and met their mentors and members of the reception committee assigned to their study city.
A ceremony followed, which was hosted by students Garrick Richardson and Aishira Cecilia. The hosts disseminated pertinent information to the students and introduced motivational speeches by the S4 Chair, various dignitaries, and special words of inspiration by the Student of the Year and Mentor of the Year for 2011.
The S4 organization made use of the opportunity to hand out awards for the Student of the Year 2012 -Tephany Baptist (organizer of the flash mob event on St. Maarten) and Mentor of the Year 2012 – Lourdes Charles.
At approximately 14.00 hours the St. Maarten students started boarding buses to their respective study cities. The students will spend the first two days in a hotel after which they will move into their rooms/apartments.
Despite being tired from the very long journey, the students were in high spirits as they embarked on this new era of their lives.
Minister Jacobs made use of the opportunity to commend S4, the volunteers and the staff of the Division Study Financing for working tirelessly to ensure a smooth transition for the students. During the coming week Study Financing Officer Yolanda Martina will visit all students in their study cities to ensure that they are settling in well and to address any problems that may arise.