Proud of Them recognizes 12 young Caymanians doing big things
The Ministry of Education and the National Youth Commission feted 12 young Caymanians at the Proud of Them, youth recognition initiative, celebration held at George Town Yacht Club on July 11, 2018. The Round 9 recipients hail from Stake Bay in Cayman Brac, George Town, and Bodden Town and range from 11 to 21 years of age.
Recipients were nominated and recognised for outstanding contributions in the categories of academics, sports, career, culture, business or community service.
Tya Bovell (17), Culture; Rasheem Brown (18), Sports; Trevor Carmola, Jr. (11), Academics and Community Service; Anissa Hoyte (17), Academics; Zolla Jones (14), Community Service; Taneil Lee (21), Academics, Culture, and Community Service; Zachary Moore (15), Sports; Deija Myles (17), Academics, and Community Service; Keanu Oliver (17), Academics, and Community Service; Gabriela Ritch (17), Academics; Julius Smith (15), Academics, and Community Service; and Janelle Smith (18), Business.
Each awardee received a Proud of Them recipient certificate and a $500 cheque.
They were congratulated in speeches by the Minister of Education, Youth, Sports, Agriculture & Land (EYSAL), Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly; the Head of the National Youth Commission, Reverend Donovan Myers; and past Proud of Them recipient Chanelle Scott.
Chairman of the Proud of Them Committee and Master of Ceremonies, Acting Chief Officer of EYSAL, Joel Francis, introduced the senior officials including the Ministry’s Acting Chief Officer, Cetonya Cacho. Mr. Francis, who helped set up the recognition initiative in 2012, read out the bios of each honouree, which will be released shortly.
“Your commitment and achievements are where the future hopes of our country rest,” said the Minister in congratulating the recipients.
“Some of you have overcome adversity, many of you challenge yourselves to do more and all of you inspire others to try harder and give more. Having already achieved so much, we know that you can and will continue to excel. We are in awe of your inspiring stories and by the many qualities that made you stand out from what was a highly competitive pool. Over the coming weeks, your billboards will be put up and your profiles will be made public. In these ways, the wider community will come to know of you and learn of the diverse ways that make us proud to have you be a contributing member of our community at such a young age,"she added.
Scott, spoke of the pivotal role becoming a Proud of Them awardee had in reinforcing her academic goals.
“The award in itself does not end when you come off the billboard,” said the 18-year-old, Li Po Chun United World College, Hong Kong, graduate.
“You will forever be an ambassador for this programme and expected to carry out the level of excellence you were nominated for,”she added.
Reverend Myers spoke about “the tremendous journey” the honourees were advancing on and wished them every success in their future goals.
The round’s youngest recipient, 11-year-old Trevor Carmola Jr., certainly proved that childhood is no barrier to being a leader. Honoured for community service and academic achievements, he said, “I was very surprised and happy to find out I was recognised for this award. I enjoy school and the leadership roles I’ve taken up there and in places like church and the cadets. What I’m most proud of is fundraising for childhood cancer and donating 22 inches of my hair for children’s wigs,” he added.