Eighty teens and young adults have been awarded for their efforts after two years of work in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program.
The group earned 45 bronze, 28 silver, and seven gold awards. Three of the gold awards are members of the Cadet Corps: Lance Cpl. Joseph Burey, Sgt. Antanika Ebanks, and 2nd Lt. Natalie Williams. The four remaining gold awards went to Marc Reid, Adam Jackson, Samantha Mascarenhas and David Terry.
Pins and certificates were presented by Governor Helen Kilpatrick at a ceremony at Government House in May. Outstanding presentations were made at the Queen’s Birthday celebrations in June.
The recipients, ages 14 to 25, are studying either overseas at tertiary institutions or locally at Cayman International School, St. Ignatius Catholic School, Grace Christian Academy, Cayman Prep and High School, the Girls Brigade and the Cadet Corps.
The Duke of Edinburgh program requires participants to broaden their horizons by participating in extracurricular activities, said Katherine Jackson, chairman of the Cayman Islands National Award Authority.
Ms. Jackson said the activities cover four main areas of development: service, skills, physical recreation and adventurous journeys.
Completing the activities, which are mentally and physically demanding, can take up to six months in the bronze category, between six months and a year in the silver category, and around two years in the gold category. Times may be extended if the student is studying abroad.
To satisfy the adventurous journey requirement, candidates participate in a camping exercise. Bronze candidates attend a weekend exploration in Grand Cayman and silver candidates participate in a three-day event held in Cayman Brac.
Gold members attend a summer camp hosted by the Caribbean Award Sub-Regional Council, comprising 14 member countries that take turns hosting the event. The camp is attended by gold participants from the Caribbean and Central and South America. Ms. Jackson emphasized the program’s focus on highlighting personal growth over competition.
“The award is simply a balanced program of activities which can run parallel to any other youth program, thus allowing the young people to achieve high standards and build their self-confidence and leadership skills,” she said.
Currently, the Cayman is home to 64 gold award holders.