Cayman student a winner in FCCA essay contest

Budding writer 15-year old Katie Fleming from St. Ignatius Catholic School has been awarded third place winner in the senior division of the 2008 Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association Foundation Children’s Essay Contest.

The annual competition is sponsored by the FCCA and various Ministries of Tourism/Education within the Caribbean region. Each year, students in FCCA partner destinations are invited to participate in the Children’s Essay Contest, said a press release. The contest aims to promote cruise tourism awareness among Caribbean youth and is judged in two groupings: a junior division for students ages 12 and under and a senior division for students 13 – 16 years.

The theme of this year’s competition was ‘What steps can we take as a cruise destination to make cruise passengers feel more welcome while in port?’ Katie’s essay was judged against entries from 15 other nations and she was awarded the overall third place winner in her age group. For placing in the competition, Katie receives a cash scholarship of US$1000 and her school, St. Ignatius Catholic School, will be awarded an equal amount.

Notable mention goes to 12-year old Alanna Warwick-Smith of Heritage High School who was the Cayman Islands junior finalist. Alanna receives a $200 cash scholarship for her participation courtesy of the FCCA. The Department of Tourism will match this prize and give Heritage High a scholarship of equal value. The funds will be used to support a tourism-based publishing project that will be produced by students at the school.

Both students’ essays rose to the top because they more closely followed the assignment, presented their thoughts on the topic creatively and demonstrated strong grammatical skills.

‘The Department of Tourism continuously pushes programmes that get our young people interested and involved in tourism,’ said Patrice Donalds, Tourism Training & Development Coordinator for the Department. ‘It’s wonderful that once again one of the top awards in this year’s essay competition has gone to a Cayman student and we hope that other students will be inspired by Katie’s achievement and be enthused about tourism-sponsored competitions and programmes.’