Minds Inspired scholarships awarded

From left, Dart education programs Manager Glenda McTaggart, DECCO Ltd. CEO Cameron Graham, Dart VP of Community Development Chris Duggan, Ethan Slocock, Cristin Jackson, Dart Enterprises CEO Mark VanDevelde and Active Investments President Alasdair Foster.

Ethan Slocock of Cayman Prep and High School and Cristin Jackson of Grace Christian Academy have been selected as this year’s Minds Inspired high school scholarship winners.

The Minds Inspired program, Dart’s education initiative, encompasses several elements, including the Minds Inspired High School Scholarship that focuses on fostering excellence in math and science in students preparing to enter Grade 9 (Year 10) at the start of the academic year.

It also includes the William A. Dart Memorial Scholarship, an annual islandwide high school Maths Challenge, the Dart Award in Excellence in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects, and a work experience program which pairs students with their career interests and provides them with practical experience.

Ethan is a top student at Cayman Prep and High School and excels in STEM subjects, particularly in mathematics and computer science. Ethan represented his school in the Minds Inspired Mathematics Challenge and was a participant in the U.K. Intermediate Maths Challenge in 2015 and 2016, receiving Silver and Gold medals, respectively. When Ethan is not showcasing his mathematics skills, he enjoys sailing and roller hockey. He also represents his school at the Model United Nations and is a member of Key Club.

Cristin’s dedication to her academics has earned her many top honors at Grace Christian Academy as well as an A/A+ average for the last three years in core subject areas. Cristin has been on the Principal’s Honour Roll every year since Grade 1 and received the 2016 Citizenship Award at Grace Christian Academy. She represented her school at the Minds Inspired Mathematics Challenge, participated in the Rotary Science Fair and the National Children’s Festival of the Arts and volunteers as an art assistant with the festival. When not involved in her academic pursuits, Cristin plays soccer and tennis.

When asked what future profession they aspire to, Ethan, with his strong interest in computer science, hopes to pursue a career that combines computer science and mathematics, while Cristin would like to study medicine, with the goal of becoming a pediatrician or a cardiologist.

The Minds Inspired High School Scholarship Programme consists of three main elements – a four-year high school scholarship based on academic excellence with a focus in the areas of mathematics and science, participation in a multi-year mentoring program with Dart employees and special enrichment experiences designed to introduce new horizons and expand the recipients’ worldview outside of the classroom. In past years, Minds Inspired high school scholars have attended SuperCamp at Brown University and Stanford University, spent time at the Dart NeuroScience research facility in San Diego, California and visited the European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN, in Switzerland.

“Each year, we are inspired by the growing pool of diverse student applicants all of whom are simply outstanding – intelligent, curious and dedicated to a well-rounded school career,” said Dart Enterprises Chief Executive Officer Mark VanDevelde.

“I am proud to welcome this year’s winners, Ethan and Cristin, to the Minds Inspired family; they both embody the Dart philosophy and exemplify Dart’s commitment to education and in particular to STEM subjects.”

Dart VP of Community Development Chris Duggan added: “Being on the scholarship selection committee, I can attest to the difficulty our committee faces when choosing who to award the scholarship. Ethan and Cristin come to us with two different backgrounds and were selected not only for their academic and community involvement, but also for showcasing their potential to be excellent ambassadors for the Minds Inspired Programme. We know these scholars will go far and we are proud to be a part of that process.”

The Minds Inspired High School Scholarship Programme involves a multi-step, blind-selection process designed to remove distinguishing details such as school, age, and gender and keep the identity of the applicants confidential from the judging panel. Each year, a group of candidates are short listed from the total applications submitted. This year, 14 students were short-listed and advanced onto a second round consisting of a mathematics and science test and a timed essay.

Nine students progressed to the third round, which is an in-person interview with a Dart executive. During the fourth and final round, a selection committee reviewed all of the information on each of the five selected finalists, reviewing each application with no distinguishing details, only an application number, and selected the two scholarship recipients.

The selection committee is made up of eight professionals, five leaders in the local industry and community plus three Dart senior executives.

The other three exceptional students and finalists in the Minds Inspired High School Scholarship Programme were Johnathon Bedasse from Cayman Prep and High School; Ethan Cronier from St. Ignatius Catholic School; and Elana Sinclair from Cayman Prep and High School.

These three students were recognized and applauded on their achievements and they will each receive a $500 Camana Bay gift card and have an opportunity to meet with members of the selection committee.