Five essayists win citizenship adventure

Year 10 John Gray High School
student Brandon Johnson won the 2010 Rotary Club of Grand Cayman’s Adventure in
Citizenship essay contest.

The announcement was made last
Thursday afternoon during the Rotary Club’s weekly lunch meeting at the Westin
Casuarina Resort.

The contest was open to high school
students in their second to last year of high school in Cayman.  The 500 to 750-word essay had to be
completely original and on the topic ‘my Cayman’.

In his essay, Brandon wrote about
why he loved Cayman so much.

“Whenever I feel a bit down about
something, I remind myself that I am a child of a beautiful island jewel in the
Caribbean, a place where the sun always seems to shine – even when it’s

Brandon also commented about
Cayman’s diversity.

“It is always pleasing to see the
many different types of people who live on my island, as there are many
different nationalities of people here, but everyone gets along,” he wrote. “On
my Cayman no one notices the colour of your skin, or if you’re rich or poor;
people help each other in many ways. On my Cayman you don’t have to be a native
to feel welcomed by us; we welcome everyone to our island, as long as they obey
our rules.”

For winning the competition,
Brandon received a laptop computer. 
However he and the other four finalists all get to take part in “The
Adventure in Citizenship”, which started with attending the Rotary luncheon.
The Adventure also includes lunch with Governor Duncan Taylor at Government
House and visits to the Legislative Assembly, the Grand Court and the Office of
the Secretary of Cabinet.

Other finalists included Ashley
Osbourne from St. Ignatius High School; Joyonnie Anglin from Cayman Brac High
School; Jordan Ebanks from Triple C School; and Justin Hislop from Cayman Prep
and High School.

Minister of Education Rolston
Anglin served as keynote speaker of the luncheon.  He praised all of the Adventures in Citizenship
finalists, saying they were all winners. He encouraged the finalists to get as
much as possible out of their Adventure in Citizenship experience.

“I hope the lessons you will learn
will be long remembered,” he said. “It will help to shape your future
contributions to our country.”

Mr. Anglin said he recognised the
risk all the finalists had to take to write their essays and put their feelings
on paper.

“I am very proud of you for making
this bold move and making it this far,” he said, adding that he was also proud
of the finalists’ parents, who were also in attendance.

“Strong parenting and involved
parenting is absolutely vital to any community,” he said, adding that
ever-decreasing parental involvement was a serious threat to the Cayman Islands.

Also on hand for the luncheon was
University College of the Cayman Islands President Roy Bodden.

Mr. Bodden said he thought it was
important to show his support for the programme by attending.

“These are the kinds of things we
need for our young people,” he said. “There is too much detachment and apathy
these days. We need to prepare the next generation of leaders.”


At the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman’s luncheon to recognise the Adventures in Citizenship essay contest finalists were, from left, Rotary Club of Grand Cayman member Isy Obi; Joyonnie Anglin from Cayman Brac High School; Ashley Osbourne from St. Ignatius High School; Cathy Chesnut, Rotary Club of Grand Cayman president; contest winner Brandon Johnson of John Gray High School; Minister of Education Rolston An-glin; Jordan Ebanks from Triple C School. Missing from the photos was Cayman Prep and High School’s Justin Hislop, who was taking exams.
Photo: Alan Markoff