The Sekondi College (SEKCO) alumni board in North America has instituted a scholarship scheme to motivate students of the school to do their best to make the school a first-class educational institution in the Western Region.
The maiden awards were presented to five brilliant, needy students of the school at a brief but impressive ceremony.
Those who benefited were Mariam Okoboh, Sena Amuzu-Sewornu, Justice Quansah, William Agyiri and Cosmos Tetteh Mensah.
Each of the students received US$ 500 to cover tuition and boarding for the 2008/09 academic year.
The board, had, already donated computers to the school and is in the process of funding a library as well as donating more computers and other equipment to make Sekondi College a first-class educational institution.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, a representative of the SEKCO alumni board, Mr Castro Bosomtwe, said he was heartened that the alumni in North America had played an active role in supporting academic excellence at the school.
He congratulated the beneficiary students and their parents, and expressed happiness with their commitment to achieve academic excellence at the school.
Mr Bosomtwe encouraged the other students who applied but did not make it to the top or those who never made any attempt to apply, to strive to attain higher goals.
Another criterion for selection, he said, was the demonstration of financial need, adding that education is a fundamental need and no child should be deprived of education because of financial reasons.
According to Mr Bosomtwe, one of the strengths of the United States higher education system is the culture of giving back to society.
He said those who were beneficiaries of good teaching, counselling, and scholarships often contributed to their alma mater, financially or by other means.
"We encourage you not to forget the support you have received, and do your bit to help society, especially the hands that have helped to feed you", he emphasised.
The Headmaster of SEKCO, Mr Joseph Asmah, explained that even though the awards covered the duration of studies for the award winners, it was renewable on a yearly basis subject to conditions of good academic standing and behaviour.
Every year, he said, fresh applications from interested students would be considered, based on current academic performance and behaviour of the applicants, adding that an improved performance by a student would be given due recognition and subsequently rewarded.
The Chairman of the Board of Governors of the school, Mr J. C. Quansah, was happy that the past students of SEKCO had supported the school.