With just a few points separating the top three winners in the Caribbean District Optimist International Oratorical Contest, 16-year-old Cayman John Gray student Chauntol Hylton placed third in the girl’s category.
Mark Ray, president of Optimist Club of George Town, said, “We are extremely proud of Chauntol. After she won the local Oratorical Club Contest, we knew she would represent the Cayman Islands with pride and make the country extremely proud.”
He added, “She displayed tremendous poise and delivered an impressive oration on the topic, ‘How my optimism will help me press on to greater achievements of the future.”
School-aged students representing the Cayman Islands, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, St. Lucia and Jamaica converged at the New Kingston Conference Center in Kingston, Jamaica last month to compete in the finals. The Barbados team of young orators were the winners of the contest.
Chauntol’s mom Marsha Clark said her daughter found entering the contest an extraordinary experience. “She was the only one representing Cayman and she felt really proud of her achievement,” she said.
Prior to entering the contest, she said, she was not a particularly optimistic person but just by entering the contest, she sees things in a different light. She now wants to form a junior optimists club for young people.
Students entering the finals also toured the Bob Marley Museum and Devon House in Kingston.
The Oratorical Contest is an annual event geared at “bringing out the best in kids.” Organizers say it is designed to help young people gain experience in public speaking and provides them with an opportunity to compete for a scholarship towards their education.
The Optimist Club of George Town meets the first and third Thursday of every month at 6.30 p.m. at the Family Life Centre off Walkers Road.