EDITORIAL – Recognizing, and applauding, our exceptional students

This year’s Dart Scholars and government’s Proud of Them award recipients set powerfully positive examples for their peers.

Not only are they exceptional students with evident aptitude and dedication to their studies, they are well-rounded and civic-minded individuals, with heads for business and appreciation for the arts and charitable causes.

They are bakers and small business owners, scientists and philanthropists; already at their young ages, they have demonstrated strong character, a commitment to excellence and the perseverance that will serve as a sturdy foundation upon which to build a lifetime of success. We join all of Cayman in congratulating them for their achievements and look forward to watching them continue to flourish and grow.

The four students selected as Dart Scholars – Charlotte Dowell, Graeme Madison, Charlotte Hodkin and Joshua Martin – will receive tuition assistance and will be offered work experience with the highly influential company, where they will cross paths with many potential mentors and industry connections, learn valuable “soft skills” that are invaluable workplace assets, and have an opportunity to learn more about future career paths.

They were chosen by the company in a highly selective process in recognition of their academic and extracurricular achievements.

Miss Dowell, of Clifton Hunter High School, not only leads her peers in academics, particularly in coursework involving Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (commonly referred to as STEM), she also competes as a member of the school’s netball and debate teams and is an active participant in musical theater. Mr. Madison, a Cayman Prep student and fellow recipient of the Dart High School Scholarship, is exceptionally gifted in the subject of mathematics (he is a two-time winner of the Minds Inspired Maths Challenge) and also a gifted musician.

Miss Hodkin and Mr. Martin, recipients of the William A. Dart Memorial University Scholarship, are similarly well-rounded and adept.

As Dart CEO Mark VanDevelde said, “These four young Caymanians are part of our future and Dart believes that by investing in their education we are also investing in the future of our country.”

So too, are the dozen students receiving this year’s Proud of Them award, recognizing outstanding work in academics, entrepreneurialism, sports and community service. Perusing their robust list of accomplishments offers a glance at a bright future, indeed.

Tya Bovell, 17, plays rugby, operates a small cupcake business, is involved in service activity and was named Key Clubber of the Year last year. At only 17, Deija Myles is already appearing on stage or screen.

Janelle Smith, 18, has turned a love for aesthetics into a small business. Taneil Lee, 21, who studies public health at the University of South Florida as a public health major, is conducting cancer research.

Eleven-year-old Trevor Carmola Jr. is a peer mentor, football team captain and active member of the Cadet Corps. Zolla Jones, 14, has devoted herself to community service.

Rasheem Brown, 18, and Zachary Moore, 16, are elite athletes who have admirably represented Cayman at the CARIFTA Games. Anissa Hoyte, 17, recently graduated with honors from Triple C School and intends to continue her studies in graphic arts to become an illustrator.

Keanu Oliver, 19, has helped teach disabled teens to dive. Gabriela Ritch, 17, excels academically in both the liberal arts and the sciences. Julius Smith, 15, has been a stalwart leader among his peers.

Individually and together, these students have, indeed, made Cayman proud. Applause, applause to all of them.

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