The Save Our Youth Foundation has given awards to primary and secondary students at end-of-year ceremonies for community service and outstanding effort.
This year, six students – Peta-Gayle Benjamin and Kelsie Woodman-Boddden from John Gray High School; Geron Mignot, Ashley Ebanks-Hoybia and Sasha Rankin from Clifton Hunter; and Corriel Orrett from Triple C School – were honoured for community service and outstanding effort.
Kelsie Woodman-Bodden said she was very surprised when she received the award.
“Being active in the community is very important, and I think everyone should try and be a part of something and volunteer their services,” she said.
To earn the community service award, a student must exemplify trustworthiness, responsibility, respect, fairness, compassion and citizenship, while demonstrating leadership and a willingness to engage in projects that benefit the community.
This year also marked the second annual Save Our Youth Achievement Medallion Awards, which are presented to primary and secondary students in both government and private schools. The philosophy behind these awards is that while every year the highest academic achievers get rightly acknowledged, those students who may not be at the top of their class but deserve to be rewarded for their efforts should also be encouraged.
When considering who will receive these awards, the schools look for students who demonstrate criteria that include significant academic improvement, exemplary attitude and behaviour, the ability to lead and inspire others by example and community spirit for school and the Cayman Islands. The overriding yardstick is whether the student has displayed outstanding effort beyond classroom expectations, according to a press release from the Foundation.
Jennifer Allen, Triple C vice president, noted the importance of these awards.
“Triple C School is very excited, once again, to have several of our students receive the Save Our Youth Achievement Medallion Award. We are very proud of our students and we are grateful to the Foundation for realising the need to commend our students for their individual strengths,” she said.”
The Save our Youth Foundation thanked George Town Crafts, Cayman Business Machines and Kirk Home Centre for their help in sponsoring the awards.
The Foundation aims to help provide youth a more stable future and improve their lives, while empowering them to be positive leaders, entrepreneurs and law-abiding citizens who value themselves.
The organisation hopes to build character and develop skills through academic and vocational training, while awarding scholarships to outstanding achievers in academics and athletics.
“We at SOY understand the complexity and challenges of the issues we have undertaken to address. However, we feel as members of this community it is our responsibility to guide young people in the right direction,” a statement from the organisation read.