Two accomplished students – Camila Pantin from Cayman International School and DauJaughn Murray from John Gray High School – were recently recognized for their achievements inside and outside the classroom as recipients of the 2017 Pursuit of Excellence award.
Camila, 17, and DauJaughn, 16, were chosen based on success in academics, character and community service. They were nominated by teachers and principals and selected by a committee from a group of candidates.
Camila graduated from the Cayman International School as valedictorian and was the recipient of the Dodie Ebanks Humanitarian Award in 2016. She was also a member of the school’s Model U.N. team, and she helped to organize CAYMUN, the first inter-school Model U.N. Conference in Cayman.
DauJaughn has competed in the BAYTAF Classics Track Meet in Tampa, Florida, every year since 2010, where he earned a medal, and he is the captain of John Gray’s Tarpon Academy and holder of the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. He achieved four CXC passes early (while in Year 10) and is awaiting results of an additional six subjects he completed in Year 11.
Tedrick Green, entrepreneur and 2016 finalist for the Young Caymanian Leadership Award, presented the awards to both students at their end-of-year school ceremonies.
Lloyd Barker, who started the award in 2014, said he hoped to give the same feeling of recognition to students as he received when he was named the 2012 winner of the Yentel McGaw Youth Community Excellence Award. Mr. Barker now is a student at the University of Law in Manchester, England.
“I was thinking about doing something that would be more long-term, something that would have a lasting impact on the community,” he said of the Pursuit of Excellence award. “I know how it feels to be encouraged. I know how it feels to be supported, whether it’s through an award or just general recognition. I thought it would be a great opportunity for young people to recognize their good work.”
Mr. Barker, a seventh-year law student, who has been supported by Walkers law firm, said he hopes to continue the Pursuit of Excellence Award long-term.
“It’s encouraging, and I don’t think we can have a cap on encouragement or a cap on support,” he said. “It’s really just to recognize and encourage young people and to show them that their good works are not going unnoticed. It’s to help other young people who see this to strive for it and to continue to work hard.
“At the end of the day, working in academics, community service and also maintaining a respectable character are definitely a challenge. So it’s quite commendable.”