Ten finalists have made it into the RUBiS Top Student programme, after eight weeks of entries and two rounds of judging by two independent judging panels.
Alzavia Goulbourne, 9, of Red Bay Primary School, Damoya Fearon, 9, of Red Bay Primary School, Hosannia O’Connor, 10, of East End Primary School, Jeleah Maize, 8, of George Town Primary School, Kai Roberts, 10, of Layman E. Scott High School, Kaz Conolly Basdeo, 10, of Montessori By The Sea, Kezzia King, 12, of Triple C School, Naima Myles, 7, of George Town Primary School, Oral Michelin, 11, of The Lighthouse School and Tianna Ebanks, 10, of Prospect Primary, impressed both sets of judges with their passion for various academics, sports and arts.
The programme, which first launched in 2015, was open to students ages 7-12 across the Cayman Islands. Organisers said students were asked to exhibit “excellence, passion and enthusiasm” in any particular area of interest such as fine arts, performing arts, sports, STEM activities or academic achievement, in order to be in with a chance of winning a financial grant.
Managing director of RUBiS Cayman Islands, Nicolas de Breyne, said in a statement, “With 70 talented entries for the 2019 RUBiS Top Student program, the judging panels faced a difficult task narrowing down the submissions to top ten finalists. However, the finalists managed to stand out through their ability to articulate and demonstrate their passion for their chosen activity and how being selected as RUBiS Top Student would help achieve their goals.”
He added that although only 10 could be chosen to receive final grants, the amount of talent the judges had encountered had impressed them.
“The talent we have seen from this competition has made a positive impression on everyone involved,” he said. “Cayman certainly has a bright future ahead.”
The grand prize winner will be announced at the RUBiS Top Student awards ceremony this evening. The winner will receive a $5,000 grant towards developing their talent, as well as an additional $1,000 to be donated to a club or school of their choice. The runners-up will each receive a $1,000 grant to be used to help progress their passions.