NS cousins face new world

They grew up together, attended
elementary school together….two 22-year old first cousins, daughters of two
sisters from the Miller family in Old Man Bay, North Side.

Now they are university graduates
and taking on the real world of challenges and diverse opportunities. Crystal
Tomlinson and Chelsea Smith graduated this year from Carolina Coastal
University (South Carolina) and the University of Western Ontario (London,
Ontario, Canada) respectively. Crystal graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in
Business Administration with a major in Marketing and Chelsea graduated with a
Bachelor of Arts Honours specialisation in Kinesiology degree.

Crystal and Chelsea grew up doing
what Caymanian children do – going to the beach, having fun at family
gatherings, ballet, Little League baseball – to big busy university campuses in
medium sized North American cities. The two cousins overcame the rigours and
stress of university and successfully earned their degrees.

Both of them had a helpful introduction
to the new systems and culture; Crystal’s family spent several years in Ankeny,
Iowa, where she graduated from high school in 2005. After graduating from
Cayman Prep and High School in 2004, Chelsea received the Donald F. Hunter
Scholarship, a full scholarship that allowed her to attend Trinity College
School in Port Hope, Ontario.

During those first two years at
Trinity in the North American education system, Chelsea was able to make many
great friends from around the world, got acclimated to the culture, won
athletic awards in softball and basketball, excelled academically and took part
in the school’s many annual traditions.

Crystal and Chelsea are both
recipients of scholarships from the Cayman Islands Government, to which they
are eternally grateful.

Chelsea decided to stay in Canada
after completing “grade 13” at Trinity College and then she went onto the
University of Western Ontario. Crystal chose to head south, and went
cross-country from Iowa to South Carolina. Chelsea’s degree in Kinesiology,
which is the science of human movement, was very intriguing to her as it taught
her many fascinating aspects surrounding the body, health, injury and sports.
Crystal, who thought that her passion was the medical sciences, soon realised
that her true calling was more in the creative disciplines and so she focused
on marketing and its related strategies. During their university years, both
young ladies received various academic honours, including being named on the
dean’s list.

Midway into her university journey,
Crystal was accepted into a summer internship with a fortune 500 company,
Albaugh Inc., where she assisted in the marketing, advertising, media
relations, events and creative design for a new urbanism known as Prairie
Trail. Crystal was active in various activities on campus, including student government,
serving as a student mentor, as well as various humanitarian, goodwill and
charitable fundraising causes. Crystal comments, “I can truly say that college
was the best four years of my life to date. I met a lot of amazing people, and
developed a great sense of responsibility and confidence. I am extremely
appreciative for the scholarship and I look forward to making my contribution
to the sustainable development of the Cayman Islands”.

Chelsea comments, “I know that
Western has helped me to reach this important first phase of my goal towards
becoming a physiotherapist. Nothing can replace the educational opportunities
that I have received, as they have allowed me to become a more knowledgeable
and independent young woman. I know that I want to move back to Cayman once I
complete my Msc physiotherapy degree. I am really excited to go over to the UK
to further my education and also to experience another culture; but for now I
am happy that I have the next six months to stay here with my family and
friends”.

Crystal returned to Cayman in June,
was recruited by Dart Realty Ltd. and is working with the marketing and events
team at Camana Bay where she is excited about the opportunity to capitalise on
her skills and knowledge while being stimulated by the dynamic team to learn
and grow in her chosen profession. Chelsea has been accepted to Glasgow Caledonian
University in Scotland, to undertake an MSc. degree in physiotherapy for two
years, starting in January 2011.

For the two first cousins from
North Side roots, Sir. Winston Churchill’s words seem fitting” “this is not the
end or the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning”

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