Jamaican student Shamar Wilson is a star athlete at Albertus Magnus College in Connecticut. He is also an outstanding member of the school’s golf team and hopes to become a professional golfer one day. In pursuit of his dream, Wilson garnered many achievements.
He was named the AMC Spotlight Player of the Week during his first year at Albertus Magnus College. He also attained second place at the Mitchell Invite and was named the Great Northeast Atlantic Conference Rookie of the Week for four weeks in a row. Wilson, 25, was also a competitor at the Hoerman Cup in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean Golf Championship, and the Jamaica Open. In addition, Wilson, now a sophomore, is working toward a degree in business marketing.
However, at the end of the fall semester in 2022, the tuition aid that he had been receiving could not be provided any longer. This left him without a way to finance his education, and as an international student from Jamaica, he cannot obtain eligibility for financial aid or federal loans to cover his college costs. It seemed that his golfing dream was out of reach until he received help from a local nonprofit organization based in New Haven stepped up.
The Jamaican American Connection, Inc. (JAC) started an online fundraising campaign to help Wilson graduate from the College and continue to pursue his professional golf dream. When Karaine Holness, president of the JAC, realized that Wilson’s dreams would be lost if he had to return to Jamaica. Believing that the difference between “Haves” and “Have-nots” is opportunity, Holness would not let him lose his chance. The organization set a goal of $50,000 for its online fundraiser, the amount to be sent directly to Wilson’s student account at college. JAC began its fundraising effort in January 2023 and has collected a total of $17,455.00 to date. With these funds, Wilson will be able to attend school for the current semester.
Wilson said he was grateful to the opportunities his school has provided and for the support of his family and the community. He plans to keep working hard to attain his goals, but acknowledges that he needs help from people who believe in his ability to succeed. Wilson believes that with some help from his community, he can complete his education and have a positive influence on the world, his community, and in his home country of Jamaica.
An inaugural scholarship golf tournament will be held in June 2023 by JAC. Holness noted that golf is Wilson’s gift, and his community needs to support his efforts to succeed in the sport. Holness also noted the benefits of now having an annual golf tournament that can raise money even after Wilson graduates. JAC will now be able to raise money to help other students from the Caribbean who come to the US on student visas.