A role model for youth

Former Miss Teen Cayman Islands runner-up Mariah Tibbetts has been recognized as a Proud of Them honoree for Academic Excellence.

The future accountant is at the end of a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Georgia State University and is undergoing a full scholarship with Deloitte & Touche Cayman Islands, following an associate’s degree at the University College of the Cayman Islands where she received the highest GPA in her course.

Ms. Tibbetts, 20, said receiving the award had given her the opportunity to be a role model to the youth of the Cayman Islands.

“There is no better way to prove your point than by being an example to others, and receiving this award is a great way to show others some of the benefits and importance of education. Being Miss Teen runner-up gave me a presence in my community and prepared me to be the role model that I hope to be through this award,” Ms. Tibbetts said.

“My platform as Miss Teen first runner-up was ‘The Importance of Education’ and I think that it is very fitting that I am now being recognized for my academic achievement.”

The Bodden Town resident is a former John Gray High School graduate who was awarded the school’s Ernst & Young 2011 Achievement Award for Academic Excellence.

Ms. Tibbetts, who is home working for the summer and spending time with her four siblings, said she would like the award to be a motivator for other young adults to achieve great things within their lifetimes, things that the island would be proud of.

“My hope is that by having my face in the public eye for academic achievements, I can possibly inspire even one young Caymanian to continue striving for success. This award has given me a renewed sense of pride, accomplishment and motivation.

“While this is a phenomenal occasion, this is definitely only a stepping stone for me. I plan to continue my success and achieve even more for my islands in the years to come,” Ms. Tibbetts said.

“There is an abundance of deserving young adults in our community, and to be recognized as one of them is an inexplicable experience. It’s nice to see the youth of our Cayman Islands being put in the spotlight because we are the future of our society and we need to begin building the type of positive and uplifting environment we want to be a part of our future.”

Ms. Tibbetts was also a member of Dance Unlimited for a number of years and also participated in Junior Achievement during high school when she attended to overseas conferences, Next Generation Leaders and the World Affairs Seminar.

Youth Minister Osbourne Bodden said Ms. Tibbetts’ tenacity and drive were commendable,

“While the qualities for which Mariah are being recognized are laudable, her ability to motivate and inspire young people is positive peer-pressure at its finest,” Minister Bodden said.

Proud of Them is a government-driven program to highlight the talents and achievements of some of Cayman’s young people. Each honoree, who is selected through a public nomination process, receives $500 and is featured on billboards island-wide for six months.