John Gray High School students were left with powerful and inspiring words at an awards presentation Tuesday morning.
Qualified Caymanian lawyer Anniki Brown, Doctor Elizabeth McLaughlin, Chief Immigration Officer Franz Manderson Monetary Authority Managing Director Cindy Scotland, and Caribbean Utilities Company CEO Richard Hew shared how choosing the right path, making good choices, working hard and being dedicated have made a positive impact on their future.
Annikki Brown captured students’ attention with her down-to-earth talk when she said ‘don’t be one to get killed or put into prison,’ find some accomplished person to follow.’
Ms Brown said it pained her heart to see classmates she had sat next to in school going through the court system.
The group was even more impressed with her speech when she said if they wanted the fancy car, the good job and the elaborate house they had to work hard and make good choices. She said she wanted it all and that was her motivation. Good role models, hard work and dedication had paid off for her.
‘Don’t be silly with your future, work hard, pay attention and aim to achieve much.’
Mr. Manderson choked with emotion when he said he had lost a classmate in a car accident and other class friends to the addiction of drugs and alcohol.
Students were even more taken back when he said he had visited the Northward Prison recently and was asked by an inmate how West Bay looked these days.
‘Being disrespectable and walking like a bad man are bad habits, but you have the option to change that today,’ he said.
Mr. Manderson said he started filing papers at Immigration on a work experience and today he is the Chief Immigration Officer.
‘Today you have to compete with some of the best. There are 24,000 persons on work permits and in order for you to get the job you have to earn it. I cannot tell people to give you a job you have to earn that yourself by working hard.’
The 230 Year 11 students received awards at the Church of God Holiness in Red Bay for good achievements at school.