Three Caymanian students have been selected to study for their International Baccalaureate diplomas abroad.
Chanelle Scott, Julian Menko and Ayanda Jones are the 2016 United World Colleges scholars who will travel in August to China, the United States and Norway, respectively, for the two-year pre-university program.
Ms. Scott, 16, who will attend Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong, wants to eventually work in the field of medicine.
“When I began to study the sciences in depth in Year 10, I fell in love with chemistry and biology and decided that medicine was a career choice for me,” she said.
Last summer, she completed an internship at Faith Hospital on Cayman Brac, an experience that confirmed her decision.
She will graduate from Year 11 at Clifton Hunter High School with 14 passes (five GCSEs and nine CXCs).
Ms. Scott will travel to China in July for the Global Youth Leaders Conference before heading to Hong Kong for her studies.
Mr. Menko, 16, and Ms. Jones, 15, who will be graduating from Cayman Prep’s Year 11, will attend UWC-USA in Montezuma, New Mexico, and UWC Red Cross Nordic in Flekke, Norway, respectively.
Mr. Menko, who will graduate with nine passes, has been interested in aviation and travel from an early age. “But [I] was never interested in becoming a pilot or air traffic controller,” he said. “Instead, I found other occupations which could satisfy my interest in aviation.”
For Mr. Menko, aviation finance and the field of finance in general is the path he has chosen to pursue. While he picked geography and business studies as his two electives, he also chose to independently study travel and tourism.
“I cannot begin to explain how excited I am,” he said about his upcoming studies in New Mexico.
His goal is “to ultimately learn valuable skills and to take full advantage of this opportunity.”
Ms. Jones, who will be the first Caymanian to attend UWC in Norway, expects to graduate with 11 IGCSE and WJEC passes.
“Being selected to represent my country 5,000 miles away, surrounded by people that have never lived here or even heard of Cayman before humbles me, as I’m given the unique responsibility of shaping peoples’ idea of what it means to be Caymanian,” she said.
She decided to pursue a career involving diplomacy “ever since joining my school’s Model United Nations team.
“I’ve started becoming more and more involved and interested in a career that encompasses international relations.”
Ms. Jones hopes to not only immerse herself in Nordic culture, but also to gain a greater understanding of other cultures through her peers.
After graduating from Red Cross Nordic, Ms. Jones said, she would like to gain experience through voluntary work internationally and improve her second language.
Ms. Scott said she would “definitely love to start learning the language when I arrive in Hong Kong,” adding that her goals also include “exploring the city, making new friends and just trying to find my place and get ready for a great semester.”
After completing her IB studies, Ms. Scott would prefer a gap year before taking up her undergraduate studies in the U.K. toward a degree in biochemistry or medicine. “I have always said that I wanted to attend Cambridge University, but as time passes, I am considering other schools like Imperial College of London,” she said.
Mr. Menko, for his part, is interested in universities in Ireland.