Young delegates showed integrity

So often in our community today we hear quite a lot of negative news.

I, on the other hand, have something very good to share. I recently had the privilege of attending the Next Generation Leaders Forum in Kingston, Ontario, with seven delegates from Junior Achievement of the Cayman Islands. The trip started out not so great with a two hour delay in our departure, which made us miss our connection in Toronto.

We got to our hotel room at 3am and had to be back up and on the road by 5.30am to meet our connecting flight. Once we arrived in Kingston, Ontario, the students had to move right into the forum process without the benefit of even a break. That day lasted until 11 that night and although bleary eyed, our delegates continued to push themselves with the rest of their groups. Interestingly enough, the seven were separated from each other as well and in groups of strangers that quickly became great friends.

Over the course of the week, I saw our delegates continue to stay immersed, inquisitive and vested in the overall experience. To say that they were leaders in their own right would not be enough; all the delegates fostered a relationship of support and caring among each other that by today’s standards is a rarity. There were presentations made to the student delegation on a variety of topics that were mature, industry focused and business experienced; all to provide them with input on determining the “Ultimate Business”. The Ultimate Business Challenge had the delegates creating a team, exploring options, implementation of a global vision, social responsibility, technology, entrepreneurship and business integration as well as preparing a full report on the company and its products all to culminate in an oral presentation to the entire 200 delegates in attendance. And yes, one of our delegates was a presenter. I saw leadership and compassion in our seven as well as in the other attendees.

I was amazed by the content of the discussions and the level of knowledge these “kids” possessed. If I took away only one thing from this experience it is that each and every one of our children has the potential to be strong leaders. We just have to give them the opportunity.

I came away very proud of Chester Frederick, Mariah Tibbetts, Lydia McField, Sarah Potkins, Allison Antonio-Fernandez, Kendra Ebanks and NorDania Stewart. They are already leaders of their generation who will only become great leaders of our future. Thank you to their parents for sharing your children with me this past week and thank you to our amazing seven for your integrity, respect and ambassadorship you showed your fellow delegates. You all are my heroes.

Teresa Owen-Foster

Programme director,

Junior Achievement of the Cayman Islands


  1. As a Team Leader at the recent Next Generation Leaders Forum here in Canada, I would like to echo the remarks of Teresa Owen-Foster. The delegation representing the Cayman Islands represented your country with composure and grace; They are very much young leaders.
    Two of the delegation were a part of my team and even though they arrived to the conference late, they merged with the other delegates and showed little effect from the issues stated. It’s what I’ve come to expect from our foreign delegates.
    This forum, organized by Junior Achievement of Canada, is now in it’s 41st year and for at least half of it’s history has been an international conference. I’ve volunteered for the past 7 years and each year the Cayman Islands group has always come to the Forum with passion, energy and class. We see the Cayman delegation as an important part of the conference and we sincerely hope that this connection is never severed.
    Thanks to all the volunteers and sponsors who make it possible for these young people to take part in something so worthwhile. It definitely will make a difference in their lives; but also will make a difference in your communitys future.

    John A. Ianni
    Team Leader
    Next Generation Leaders Forum

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