EDITORIAL – We’re inspired by ‘Minds Inspired’

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.

When a news organization shines an intense spotlight on the subject of education, too often it can appear as if journalists are more interested in the failures of a system than the successes of its students. Speaking for ourselves at the Compass, this is not true.

It is with tremendous satisfaction that we celebrate the academic achievements of our brightest, most-talented and hardest-working children, not because they have triumphed where others have not, but because they are inspirations and examples for their peers and, indeed, the rest of us adults as well.

We believe we share that mentality with the people behind the Minds Inspired program, the Dart Group’s education initiative that encompasses scholarships, awards, competitions and work experience programs. Please join us as we applaud this year’s winners of the Minds Inspired High School Scholarship Programme, Ethan Slocock and Cristin Jackson.

We won’t delve into the respective resumes of Ethan and Cristin, other than to remark that they are well on their way to academic accolades at the highest levels, and if they keep on their current tracks, their future career prospects couldn’t be more promising.

For the record, Ethan is interested in computer science and mathematics, while Cristin’s aspirations lie in the field of medicine, more specifically in the areas of pediatrics or cardiology. (If she wants a contact number for Health City Cayman Islands, we have Dr. Devi Shetty’s direct line.)

To learn more about the two scholarship winners, read the story published in Monday’s Compass. (On the opposite page of the newspaper, we also featured another pair of exceptional young people — Ayanna Davis-Eden and Felicia Connor — who have been honored recently by the government’s Proud of Them program. All in all, the two-page spread is a valid and appropriate tribute to extraordinary students and, by proxy, Cayman’s future.)

In regard to Dart’s scholarship program, the following sentence from Monday’s story attracted our attention: “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.”

Brown … Stanford … Dart NeuroScience … CERN …

Who knew that such experiences were accessible to local students who strive for success? And those names are just a small sample of the limitless opportunities out there for educated, interested and passionate young people.

On a separate but related note, it is also a reminder of the vast reach and resources of the Dart organization. (What other local company do you know that has a “NeuroScience research facility”?)

We in Cayman have grown to claim the Dart Family and their enterprises as “one of our own,” and they are, but it is instructive to keep in mind that Dart is a global entity, with variegated tendrils that reach into an array of business, scientific and philanthropic interests. Just in the field of journalism, for instance, there is the renowned Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma, based at Columbia University in New York City.

Dart may be the most prominent example of a local organization that presents possibilities that are far beyond the scale that a community our size could reasonably expect — or afford — but the reality is our country is filled with magnanimous people and groups offering opportunities to our most-promising young people.

The Cayman Islands may be very small, but our country can be the ideal incubator, and later a launching pad, for individuals with the potential and the drive to change the wider world.