Lloyd Barker is the new recipient of the Youth Community Excellence Award established by Yentel McGaw in 2010.
The award recognises outstanding and hard work of youth who have the Cayman Islands at heart.
The successful candidate was awarded a two-year government scholarship, a trophy, a roundtrip ticket to Miami and $1,000, which goes back to the organisation that nominated the individual.
Mr. Barker, along with four others; Kimberly Carlos, Danielle Borden, Nordania Stewart and Jon Mikol Rankine, was recognised during an awards luncheon at the Golden Sand Ballroom at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort on Saturday.
While receiving his award, Mr. Baker congratulated the YCEA finalists on their superb characters qualities and influential mind-set and behaviour throughout the community. The journey, he said, although short was thrilling and the opportunity and privileges to get to know everyone had been an appealing and intriguing one.
“I see nothing but success in all of you. Approach your goals and even obstacles with a positive and striving attitude,” he said. “An attitude that allows you to surpass your expectations where goals are concerned and an attitude that moves obstacles and speed bumps in a positive direction.”
Keynote speaker Garth Arch encouraged the four to take on change by developing character, knowledge and service. “Character is all about who you are, building from within. Character begins with choices. Your choices determine your actions, your actions then become your habits and your habits define your character, and for me, it is your character that speaks most eloquently about who you are,” he said.
As future leaders, he said they must be committed to acquiring knowledge in order to stay ahead of the curve in our changing, complex and competitive world. “For this reason, I want to encourage you to continue to invest in yourself. Take advantages of all the opportunities that you have for education, training and developing skills.”
Mr. Arch further encouraged the youths to make an impact on other people’s lives and to continue to invest in themselves in order to stay ahead by taking advantage of opportunities in education, training and developing skills and to not to forget about the past and the beauty and richness of the Caymanian values.
“Your generation has a responsibility to hold fast to these values and to embrace a philosophy that elevates character over image, knowledge over celebrity and service over short-terms gains. If you do this, your life will be meaningful and you will have the potential to change lives and shape the destiny of not only these Islands, but possibly even the world, in an unforgettable way,” he said.
Mr. Barker thanked his parents, Garth Arch for his involvement and encouraged Miss McGaw to continue to excel and to maintain her impressive qualities, character and desires and great step with the youths.
According to Miss McGaw, the finalists this year surprised committee members by surpassing their expectations and grading criteria. “If you don’t succeed, try and if you still don’t succeed – try harder. Giving up is not in the cards of life,” she stressed.
She said they had proved capable of being today’s leaders. “Not only do you have some big shoes to fill but the YCEA committee members will be there to help in whatever way possible to accomplish your title.”
Education Minister Rolston Anglin said the talented young people would make great role models. “We need more Caymanians getting higher careers as we nation build,” he said. “These young people are results from a lot of praise, mentoring, guidance and a lot of love.”
Ms McGaw established the YCEA programme in 2010 to recognise the outstanding and humble and hard work of the youth who have the interest of the Cayman Islands at heart.