Yentel McGaw Young Community Excellence Award

Award luncheon tomorrow

The Yentel McGaw Young Community
Excellence Award winner will be announced tomorrow (Saturday, 30 January) at
The Rising Stars luncheon awards ceremony at the Marriott Beach Resort.

The inaugural event will run from
1pm to 3pm. The keynote speaker at the event is Mrs. Cindy Scotland of the
Cayman Islands Monetary Authority.

The fifth and final finalist Gabriella
Mendoza-Hydes is in her final year of high school at Grace Christian Academy.

Gabriella was born and raised in
the Cayman Islands and feels very passionate about her island. “From my
earliest memories I was always participating and volunteering in church
activities. The thing I looked forward to most about growing older was the fact
that I was going to be able to help out at Vacation Bible School instead of
just being a part of It”, she said.

Gabriella also sang the national
song for the West Bay heritage day and more recently sang at the Commonwealth
Service held at Saint Georges Anglican Church.

 “I have a younger brother… and with both my
parents working I help look after him as much as possible”, Gabriella added.

She is also keen on volunteerism. Two
examples are painting the fence at one of the National Trust homesteads in West
Bay and cleaning up the surrounding area by Uncle Sammie’s Pond in Mount
Pleasant. And even though she is am not a member of the Red Cross, she encourages
her family to donate items to the Red Cross thrift shop.

In 2007 and 2008 she participated
in the second and third annual Commonwealth Youth Parliament and experience she
“enjoyed immensely.”

“I was able to get a firsthand look
at what goes on behind the chamber doors in the Legislative Assembly. She experienced
what it is like to be a member of the LA and how laws are formed.

For the first year I served as
Sergeant at Arms, the first and only female sergeant at arms in the LA. The
second year I participated I was the Clerk and worked alongside with Mrs. Wendy

Gabriella spent the summer of 2008
in Washington, DC as a student ambassador of the Cayman Islands and attended
the People to People Leadership Summit. There she was one of a 100 students of
varying nationalities and was exposed to many key leaders of America’s past.
She was also challenged by different activities where she had to show and use
leadership skills. While there she also picked peas at a farm, which were donated
to the homeless.

Gabriella said: “In the future I
would like to pursue a career in medicine because I feel I can make the
greatest impact in the lives of others this way”.

For tickets priced
$50, call 925-7077 or 917-2640.


The finalists of The Yentel McGaw Young Community Excellence Award Krista Samuels, from left, Keana Rankine, Leonardo Bersatto, Gabriella Mendoza-Hydes and Martina Bodden with the award’s founder