The Youth Community Excellence Award organisation is gearing up to once again recognise and acknowledge young Caymanians.
In August the successful candidate will be awarded a two-year local government scholarship, a trophy, a round trip ticket to Miami and $1,000, which goes back to the organisation that nominated the individual.
This year’s nominees are: Kimberly Carlos, 18, St Ignatius School; Danielle Borden, 17 St Ignatius; Nordania Stewart, 18, John Gray; Lloyd Barker, 19, Junior Achievement; and Jon-Mikol Rankine, 17, CI Baptist Church.
A luncheon will be held in honour of all nominees and winner on 18 August at the Golden Sand Ballroom, Marriott Beach Resort. Tickets are $40. Guest speaker will be 2012 Young Caymanian Leadership Award recipient Garth Arch.
Yentel McGaw established this programme in 2010 to recognise the outstanding, humble and unselfishly hard work of the youths that have the interests of the Cayman Islands at heart. Their efforts have been infectious in bringing positive motivation to others, as well as themselves, and their country through voluntary community service.
Miss McGaw said many youths have been overlooked, and not having a system in place to encourage them from an early age was unacceptable and a possible reason why so many have fallen onto the wrong path.
The nonprofit organisation is for the youth of the Cayman Islands between the ages of 14 and 20.
A community based organisation can nominate a candidate fit for the objectives and mission of the YCEA. Once this is done, the board will then review all nomination forms, conduct interviews and select the finals.
“Our mission this year for the pending recipient, is to have him or her create a platform they would be interested in and set up an organisational strategy on how they plan on focusing on that platform through community based events. Additionally, we will use the recipient to create more awareness of the organisation through talk shows, interviews and press releases to better communicate with the community.
“If proper funding permits, a minimum of two events every month will be laid out for the recipient as we are aware of the fact that he or she may have other responsibilities to attend to,” she said
This year’s finalists are:
Kimberly Carlos, 18, ambassador for St. Ignatius Catholic School is an enthusiastic and care giving young lady with a number of credentials under her belt. She is a member of Red Cross, Youth flex radio show, beach volleyball club, Key Club Cayman and Cayman Junior Achievement. When she isn’t interning at UBS or spearheading the Duke of Edinburgh award programme at St. Ignatius Catholic School, Kimberly enjoys baking and pursuing an orange belt in Kuado. With the hopes of pursing clinical psychology at Nottingham Trent University next September, Kimberly feels fit for this award because she genuinely enjoys giving back to those in need and inspiring those around her to do the same, the very motto of the YCEA.
Danielle Borden, 17, ambassador for St Ignatius School, is an ambitious, driven and bubbly young lady. Miss Borden has been accepted into Penn State University to major in accounting. She is Deloittes’ 2012 Scholarship recipient, long time member of Cayman’s Drama Society and past-lieutenant governor for the Cayman Islands Key Club for 2009-2010. While she falls nothing short of the definition of a leader, Danielle never forgets the order of her priorities with family listed first and all else falling into their rightful spots. Danielle plans, if she wins, to inform, encourage and motivate youngsters to become more active in the controversial topic of politics. She feels that the gap between this topic and those of her age or younger is a matter too serious to be overlooked any longer.
Nordania Stewart, 18 an ambassador for John Gray High School, is a 2012 YCEA finalist who has her eyes set on the title of Miss Teen Cayman Islands 2012. Making numerous of appearances overseas on behalf of Cayman she is of full understanding on what it takes to be both a role model and leader. A peer educator, mentor at UCCI where she is pursuing her associates in Social Studies, she was the candidate nominated on behalf of her school to represent Cayman at the Global Young Leaders Conference in Washington DC. She attended the NGL conference in Orlando on behalf of the Junior Achievement Program Cayman having secured VP positions both years. One of her proudest moments to date was assisting the Special Olympics recently and being a third year member of Key Club Cayman. With the hope of promoting volunteerism if she wins, Nordania plans to become more involved in community service.
Lloyd Barker, 19, ambassador for Junior Achievement Cayman was recently accepted into Carlton University, Canada, to study Business Law. He is the 2012 Maples and Calder Scholarship recipient. He describes himself as dedicated, passionate and assisting. Lloyd is a member of Junior Achievement Cayman and sits on the Junior Achievement Alumni Board. He is also a member of the Cayman Islands Track team and tutors youngsters in English and reading. Lloyd finds that his drive comes from the pride he takes learning from all his failures and never allowing them to define or incarcerate him or his potential and goals in life. He is a driven, motivated and well rounded young man.
Jon-Mikol Rankine, 17 is on fire for Jesus. His humble and kind hearted spirit takes no time in infecting those around him. He is a sports advocate, ranging from skateboarding, Track and Field, and representing Bodden Town Football Club. He is ambassador for Radical Fire at Cayman Islands Baptist Church. A graduate of Clifton Hunter High School, he hopes to one day become a professional skateboarder. He established an organisation of his own titled Radical Fire with three of his closest friends. He leads and organises many events at his church. Peer pressure and adversity is of no difficulty for him on any given day knowing that his strength come from his father, the Lord. Currently working with the Petroleum Inspectorate Department as an intern, Jon-Mikol was featured in the Caymanian Compass for his performance and business ethics. His favourite verse that he lives by is Galatians 5:22-23