An aspiring psychiatrist, who also filled the role of “deputy governor” in Youth Parliament, has been nominated by the Proud of Them initiative for her active role in the community in the Sister Islands.
Leshontae Missick, 17, is studying A-levels at Cayman Prep and High School and will be featured on posters throughout the Cayman Islands as part of the initiative to acknowledge the achievements of young people in Cayman.
“It made me feel more inspired to continue to reach my goal. I was really excited, and I think it’s a good opportunity for the youth to be recognized,” said Ms. Missick.
After noticing people in the local community suffering from mental illness, she said, she felt compelled to pursue a career in psychiatry to help.
“Living in the community I saw people with mental illnesses who I felt weren’t getting the treatment that they needed,” said Ms. Missick.
“I wanted to go to school to become a psychiatrist so that I could be there to help the people suffering from mental illness.”
She graduated as valedictorian from Laymen E Scott Sr. High School in Cayman Brac this year where she achieved top grades in 10 exams. She also gave a speech to her peers at the graduation ceremony about moving forward.
“Continue to follow our dreams. I encourage you to seize the opportunities before you, and to carry on with your education. Don’t give up now,” she said during her speech.
Minister for Youth, Osbourne Bodden, said, “We always hear about the importance of being ‘well-rounded’, but Leshontae is a sterling example of how teens can balance life in and outside the classroom,” said Mr. Bodden.
“Through hard work and clear focus, they can indeed maintain direct paths to excellence in their early lives. She is truly inspirational to people of all ages,” Mr. Bodden added.
The young academic achiever also has a passion for community service and has been involved in various projects. She was president of Cayman Brac’s Leo Club, served on her school’s student council, was captain of her school sports house and has participated in environmental cleanups.
She also showed an aptitude in sports in swimming, football, and track and field, and was chosen by her high school as “Senior Champion Girl.” Her talent in the arts was shown when she earned several gold, silver, and bronze awards at Children’s Festival of the Arts, in areas including dance performance, speech and poetry.
Ms. Missick is taking A-levels in math, psychology, chemistry, and physics. After she completes her A-Levels, she plans to study medicine in the U.K.
The Proud of Them initiative recognizes the positive achievements of young people ages 10 to 25. Through a public nomination process, individuals are honored in the categories of academics, careers, business, sports, culture or community service.
Each young person selected is featured for six months on billboards across the Cayman Islands, and also receives a certificate and $500.