Martina Watler and Aaron West, both from George Town, are among the young people who are being recognized as part of the Proud of Them campaign.
Martina, 15, is featured among the awardees for her academic achievements. According to a press release, her writing skills earned her big recognition and major accolades.
In 2015, she was a winner in the Commonwealth Essay competition. The competition is open to students from 49 countries within the Commonwealth. That year, there were more than 13,000 entries. Out of the 7,200 entries in the junior category, Martina’s essay ranked second overall. That summer she traveled to London, where she visited Buckingham Palace to receive her prize.
Her achievements are not limited to her writing. Martina is also an excellent student. She has made the Academic and Effort Honor Roll at St. Ignatius Catholic School. She earns As and has a 3.9 GPA. She is also a member of her school’s band and choir.
Other extracurricular activities that Martina participates in include Junior Achievement, in which she has served as her company’s VP of Finance. She is an active member of her church’s youth ministry program, serving as an assistant at Vacation Bible School.
Martina also traveled to Scotland to participate in a two-week music exchange program.
Most recently, she has been involved with the Duke of Edinburgh program, and is preparing for a two-day camp expedition.
When she is not doing school work or participating in her many extracurricular activities, she can be found reading, drawing, painting, cooking or playing netball.
Martina aspires to pursue a career in either one of a number of challenging industries, including accounting, orthodontics, architecture, or forensic pathology.
Aaron, 18, is also being recognized for his academic achievements.
According to the press release, he is a leader to his peers and community and his leadership skills are exemplified in his participation in Junior Achievement. In the program, Aaron has held important positions such as VP of Production as well as, most recently, president of his company.
He was invited to serve as the master of ceremonies at the 2016 JA Awards banquet. His company was named the Company of the Year, and he traveled to Mexico to compete against other top companies, in the global JA program. Aaron was the winner of the JA Next Generation Leadership Award, which enabled him to represent the Cayman Islands at the Next Generation Conference in Canada.
He served as prefect at both John Gray High School, and Cayman Prep and High School.
Leadership is not Aaron’s only skill, he is also a gifted artist. He earned an A* level pass for the GCSE Art and Design Exam. In the summer of 2016, Aaron traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design’s summer program.
Aaron and several other students hosted an art exhibition to raise funds to attend the summer program. While at SCAD, Aaron dove into student life and attended classes with top professors at the highly ranked arts school. Aaron continues to excel in art, having this year, been awarded the Best Artwork in the 14-17 age category, in the local Poinciana Festival.
He has passed eight external exams, earning Level I and Level II passes. He graduated with high honors from John Gray High School. He also earned a Bronze ASDAN certificate, a vocational award, as well as a Level II BTEC Certificate in Music.
He has recently been accepted at the highly ranked University College of London where he plans to study Urban Planning or Architecture.