Ever met one of the nicest persons and knew from the beginning that they would make a positive mark on the world?
That happened when I met Naima Stennett. It started in high school. We were never really the friends who would call each other or go out together and tell each other our secrets. However, there was mutual respect between us.
We parted ways once our high school journey ended.
A few years later, we rekindled our connection through social media and like a real social media user, I “stalked” her updates and noticed how much of a blessing she is to the world.
After that, we chatted it up and I learned details about her SAT Scholarship Fund. With her permission, I curated our talks.
I always considered her the tall, smart one who plays volleyball. But, she has grown to become so much more than that.
Naima practices family medicine and is a fitness junkie. She advocates for health and wellness and participates in a multitude of speaking engagements that involves motivating young medical students, girls, women (and in some cases, boys and men) to take control of their health.
She isn’t all talk. She acts on what she preaches and teaches.
On days off from work, you can be sure to find Naima working out either on her own or in some fitness challenge.
When asked “how and why do you do it?”, be sure to hear her say this…
Sports and Exercise have saved my life.
Take care of your body. To enjoy the benefit of good health, you must exercise. Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. For me, fitness is not just about hitting the gym. It is also about inner happiness and overall well-being.
Naima is also a philanthropist. She freely gives her time to the holistic development of women and girls whenever given the opportunity.
A few years ago, this ‘fitdoc’ made the decision to be a great difference in the lives of teens wanting to attend college in the United States of America.
Dr Naima Stennett (as her profession calls her) established an SAT scholarship. Officially, it is known as The Dr. Naima A. Stennett Scholarship Fund.
The fund is used to assist needy high school students in Jamaica and other Caribbean countries to cover the cost of their college admission test for eligibility to study in the United States.
Established in 2013, the fund provides full coverage of the SAT and a host of supplementary support services including study material for its beneficiaries.
Why did you decide to start the fund?
How important are sports for students?
I understand that playing sports is valuable at any level. It provides students with the opportunity to become well-rounded in leadership qualities and teamwork practices. It also helps in obtaining academic and athletic scholarships.
How many students have benefitted from the scholarship?
Since its inception, close to 20 students from Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago have received scholarships.
What’s the application process like?
The application process is a rolling one and as such, there are no deadlines for submission.
What has been your greatest achievement since the inception of the scholarship fund?
My greatest achievement, thus far, is being able to see the SAT scholarship recipients matriculate through their various four-year universities.
Knowing that I was able to help and be a part of their journey, I share a sense of accomplishment in seeing the students achieve.
Being able to grow the scholarship for six years has also been an amazing personal achievement for me.
How is the scholarship funded?
Well, I host various fundraisers where the proceeds go towards the fund and I sometimes get donations in cash from well-wishers.
Naima hopes to get support from corporate entities willing to support the efforts of enhancing and advancing the academic pursuits of Caribbean students.
Do you get support from Jamaica Volleyball?
The Jamaica Volleyball Association has partnered with me in an effort to ensure that promising students and student-athletes have a fighting chance to matriculate into colleges in the United States.
Where do you see the scholarship in the next 5 years?
My goal in 5 years is to grow the scholarships fund publicly so we can support multiple scholarships for students globally. Ultimately, I would like each high school program to learn about the scholarships so that they can share with their student body.
See what I mean?!
This woman and fitdoc extraordinaire is a light in the world as she helps families to maintain health and assists young students to achieve through the scholarship fund.
Naima attended the Wolmer’s Trust High School for Girls where she played volleyball and excelled as a student and as an athlete.
After high school, she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry from the North Carolina Central University (NCCU) on a full volleyball scholarship.
Naima did this while playing for the National Volleyball team.
She earned her medical degree from East Carolina University in North Carolina in 2017.
Today, this queen wraps up her Family Medicine Residency with the University of Miami at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
She was recently awarded the American Medical Society of Sports Medicine Resident scholarship. Her goal is to complete a fellowship in Sports Medicine after which she hopes to work with young athletes in the Caribbean especially from Jamaica.
How can you find her?
Instagram: Naima Stennett