Jamaican students attending the ATW Young Women’s Leadership Academy held at Princeton University

ATW-JSSI Overview

The value placed on education by all levels of Jamaican society cannot be overstated. The Jamaican education system is firmly entrenched on the premise that “every child can learn, every child must”. The first recognized basic school in Jamaica, in the town of Islington, in the parish of St. Mary was started in the late 1930s. The school still exists as the Islington Early Childhood Institute.

A significant challenge to pursuing an education in Jamaica for many students and their families is cost. While Primary and Secondary Education is mandatory in Jamaica, it is not “free”.

At all educational levels, there are significant costs of attendance. Students and their families pay a variety of costs ranging from school development fees, PTA fees and sports fees. AND those fees are in addition to the cost of books, uniforms (which are mandatory), transportation as there are no “school buses” (there are reduced fares for students on private buses during the school year) and importantly, meals.

Due to the high costs of attendance, many students do not attend, attend only for a portion of the matriculation program or attend sporadically. This has a deleterious effect on their progress, not only academically but socially and, eventually, economically.

The Principal of Cambridge High School in St. James, from which 3 students attend the ATW Young Women’s Leadership Academy in 2014, noted in a recent article, “It is difficult to teach effectively without consistency in attendance. Currently our best attendance is on Tuesdays. By Thursdays and Fridays (students) don’t come to school because the money is just not there. Our investigations have revealed that some parents are spending upwards of $600 daily just for transport to get their children to school. This is of great concern,” Ms. Hamilton says. ttp://jis.gov.jm/cambridge-high-reaping-success-transformational-leadership/

The Mission statement of At The Well Conferences is that it seeks to empower young women locally to become effective leaders globally. By promoting excellence in education, young talent will transform their communities. We encourage girls to live beyond their limitations, achieve beyond their dreams, and impact communities beyond their reach. We seek to further that mission.

In response to the need outlined and the interest of sponsors and donors, we created a program, the ATW Jamaican Student Support Initiative, (ATW-JSSI) under the umbrella mission of At The Well Conferences, Inc. to raise funds to assist students, {female and male}  and their families in Jamaica in paying school fees, purchase books & uniforms and funding transportation and meals to promote consistent school attendance

The initial phase will be to establish or deepen a partnership with a pilot group of 5 schools. Schools were selected based on geographic dispersion across the country, existing relationships which can be leveraged to quickly ramp up the program and the recommendation or affiliation of ATW Board members. The schools are:

  • Holy Trinity High School
  • Manning’s School
  • Cambridge High School 
  • St. Mary’s High School
  • Excelsior High School

ATW Young Women’s Leadership Academy held at Princeton University

Application Process

Students attending High School in Jamaica ONLY – Currently limited to Holy Trinity High School, Mannings High School, Cambridge High School, St. Mary’s High School and Excelsior High School

Complete the online application

  • Upload recommendation letter
  • Upload photo release form
  • Upload Recent high school transcript
  • Upload supporting financial/income documents
  • Upload educational & attendance record release form

Send inquiries to ATW-JSSI@atthewellconferences.org


Photo Release Form
Recommendation Form
ATWC- JSSI Agreement


Jamaica Online Application

Signup Form

  • School Information


  • Form upload Section

  • “What difference will you make?