YCLA winner appeals to Cayman youth

“Life is too short to make mistakes
by yourself therefore you should learn from the mistakes of others.”

That is what Collin Anglin said at
the mentoring Cayman luncheon on Wednesday April 14.

The West Bay
native was the keynote speaker for the gathering, hosted by the Cayman Islands
Chamber of Commerce.

Anglin, who serves both as the
Acting Director of Sports and the 2010 Young Caymanian Leadership Award winner,
spoke to a sizeable crowd of school-goers and members of the private sector
involved in the Chamber’s Mentoring Cayman program.

The program saw 43 pairings between
young people and professionals this year. Since being introduced in 2002 the
goal of the program has been to introduce students to new career paths and
develop a work ethic.

After being introduced by Chamber
CEO Wil Pineau, Anglin gave a lengthy 30 minute speech on the power of
mentoring, the benefits of positive thinking and the pitfalls of a life without
a plan.  

One of the more captivating parts
of Anglin’s speech was the portion where he focused on the importance of time.
He stated that people must remember that there is no replacing time wasted.

“Make good decisions to follow in
the right path. Try to find your purpose, know that you are special. It affects
your decision-making. Everyday we have the gift of 86,400 seconds. The question
is what you are going to do with it.

“The mentors here today have given
their time and they can’t get it back. That sacrifice is something you’re
called to pass on also. Focus on your potential and not your limitations.”

Anglin also spent time talking
about the pitfalls of keeping bad company. He stated that in his younger days
he had friends who were mischievous.

On one occasion they robbed a grocery
store and blamed Anglin for it and the result was he spent a night in jail.
From then on he promised himself and his mother he would do better.

“My mother had to bail me out and
seeing her pain was enough for me,” Anglin said. “I had to reach higher and you
have to be around people that challenge you to grow and step out of your
comfort zone.”

The impact of Anglin’s speech was
clear as many people left feeling empowered and challenged. Among them was
Sasha Veeran, 16, who is a year 11 student at St.

“I have second thoughts now with
regards to who I hang out with,” Veeran said. “So many things can take you down
the wrong path.

“I want to be an aeronautical
engineer though I like the idea of accounting. For me hearing Collin empowers
me to think I should do something I enjoy first and foremost because that joy
will satisfy me more than the money.”

Veeran’s mentor the last four
months is accountant Clever Mawarire of KPMG. The Zimbabwe native was impressed most
with the theme of having confidence. 

“I liked the part about selecting
your future, especially when Collin talked about following your passion,”
Mawarire said. “I impress that on Sasha a lot. He should believe in himself and
remember who he hangs around can influence him. Collin’s speech encompasses a
lot of what we talk about in our sessions.”

Another young person who walked
away awe-struck was Juzan Minzett, 15, a year 10 student at John Gray High school.

“It makes me feel good he took time
out to talk to us,” Minzett said. “It really opened my eyes that you can waste
so much time.”

Her mentor is Hellen Chemeli, a
senior manager at KPMG. Chemeli, who has grown quite close to Minzett due to
meeting up several times outside of the mentoring sessions, says time is a big
theme for her.

“I always tell her time wasted can
never be gained back,” Chemeli said. “I always encourage her to do something
positive with her time.”


From left: Hellen Chemeli, Juzan Minzett, Clever Mawarire, Sasha Veeran and Collin Anglin.
Photo: Matthew Yates