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%(("$ !"#$%&#'!%%$ Thursday, 10th November 2011 7:30 PM Parliamentary Chambers Government Headquarters
!"#$%"&'()*!#'+'()")%,( Announcements and Welcome Honourable Curtis Martin Speaker of the National Assembly
Honourable Glenn Phillip Minister of Youth Empowerment
Order of Presentation SKNYPA Presenter Teen Honoree Kazrano Gumbs Leanne Knight Gavin Belle Jenise Carty Haniff Charles Merv-Ann Thompson Dennis McCall Cindy DeSuza Azem Bailey Shauntel Liburd DeHaan Henry Isalean Phillip Kennedy Pemberton Donalene Roberts Dennis AndrĂŠ Knight Azuree Liburd Otis Jeffers Patrice Harris Gavin Belle Elsie Harry DeHaan Henry Jacqueline Bryan Azem Bailey Taturah Byron Kennedy Pemberton
Josiah Oyebefun Zaiesha Joseph Zahir Harris Pernelle Abraham Patrick Walters Aldeen Thomas Raheem Depusoir Desi Brown Davon Richards Kayla Weekes Dylan Dias Shazill Bergan DeLonte Lewis Rae Dawn Thomas Sheldon Richards Taveda Isaac Trevaughn Williams Jacintha Marsham Leahcim Phipps Tishanna Hazel Glenston Patrick Kailah James Nâ€™Kosi Lucas Renicia McDonald Shaquille Fredericks
Closing Remarks Geoffrey Hanley Youth Director
Washington Archibald High
Josiah Oyebefun is a sprinter who competes regionally and nationally in the 100, 200, and 400 meter races. He holds the national record in his age group for the 200 meter at 22.49s. Even at the age of 15 Josiah is a young man who has received numerous awards and recognitions for his athletic skill, including the very prestigious 2009 Victor Ludorum “Champion of the Games” award for most outstanding male athlete in St. Kitts. Most recently in 2011 Josiah earned gold medals in the 100M and 200M events at the Inter School Competition, setting a record in the 200M. He also received a gold medal in the 400M at the National Junior Championship. In addition, Josiah represented St. Kitts and Nevis at the Carifta Games in Jamaica, qualifying 14th in the 200M. Josiah’s commitment to athletics is not the only area in which Josiah stands out. He is also an honored academic student, placing in the top five percent of his class and named on both the Honor roll and Principal’s List at Washington Archibald High School. In a sport where 4/100ths of a second is the difference between silver and gold, it takes focus, discipline and determination to be the best. Josiah is all that and more. He is tough but gentle; a thoughtful young man with an open heart who strives to do his best in everything he does. When asked where he gets his motivation to push beyond in track, Josiah relates a story from primary school. “In 2008, I moved to Beach Allen from Molineux. I was sort of a fat awkward kid and didn’t feel like I fit in. I decided to try running and did okay, but when I challenged a classmate who was the fastest runner in the school, I lost. It was then that I realized I had a competitive nature and that I could use that energy in a positive way. Timothy Morton, the coach at Beach Allen, saw my potential and agreed to train me. With his support and my hard work, I vowed that I would never lose to my classmate again, and to this day I haven’t.” Josiah gives back to the community by mentoring young children to stay positive and believe in themselves. “I try to encourage every child I meet to reach for their personal best,” he says, “whatever that may be and where ever their interests may take them.” Josiah would like to continue to share his story of determination and discipline throughout his life. He is as committed to being an inspiration to others as he is to his own future. Josiah is a 15 year old student at Washington Archibald High School who plans to pursue a career in Sports Medicine. He receives the Remarkable Teen honor as a Scholar Athlete for his combined academic and athletic ability.
Zaiesha has been taking acting lessons for six years, and dance lessons for the past two. She is involved in all areas of performing arts, and since the beginning of high school, has entered a number of pageants and contests like the Silver Jubilee Talented Teen, Miss Labor, Miss Back to My Roots, and Miss St. Kitts. Even when Zaiesha didn’t place, especially in her earliest competitions, she wasn’t deterred. “It made me work harder,” she says. “If people say I can’t do something, I show them I can, and I push myself forward until I am successful.” Zaiesha’s passion extends to both drama and dance, especially ballroom dance. Zaiesha has a strong and positively vibrant personality, and would love to be a professional actress one day. But Zaiesha is not defined by just her involvement in the arts; she is equally poised and committed to everything she does. An outstanding athlete, Zaiesha competes in track and field events including discus, shot put, triple jump, high jump and javelin. She is also an active school leader, serving as Verchilds Student Council President and school representative at various community events. Zaiesha is a humble and passionate young woman who has earned the respect of both her teachers and her peers. Mrs. Cuffy, guidance counselor at Verchilds High School, describes Zaiesha as a “beacon of light for her school.” Zaiesha recognizes the challenges of acting as a career goal and has a “plan B,” just in case. Zaiesha will continue to focus on demonstrating academic excellence with the hope of pursuing a law degree in the future. Zaiesha Joseph is a 16 year old student at Verchilds High School. She is being honored as a Remarkable Teen in the category of Performing Arts.
A talented musician, Zahir Harris plays multiple instruments including piano, organ, guitar and trumpet. In 2011, he was the first and only student from the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis to engage in the Caribbean Examinations Council Music Exam at the advanced level. He has also passed several examinations at the London-based Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, including the piano examination with merits and distinctions. He is currently enrolled in the grade eight classes, the highest level offered at the Pamela Wall School of Music. In addition, Zahir passed the ABRSM trumpet examination and the Piano Theory examination with distinction scoring 98 out of 100. Zahir was a member of the Basseterre High School Orchestra and is currently the youngest member of the St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force Band performing at a variety of functions including festivals and parades. Zahir also excels as a student of information technology, earning certifications from the National I.C.T. and Ministry of Education in computer applications, graphic arts and animation, multimedia and Photoshop. He has served as a junior facilitator at training sessions where he has been awarded for his outstanding skills. Zahir is a student of many interests and talents, and athletics is one of them. He is a member of the Molineux football team, a junior member of the St. Kitts Frigate Bay Development Golf Club, an avid basketball player, and a former member of the national U15 football team. Zahir is especially active in the Anglican Church, where in 2010 he was confirmed by the Rt. Rev Bishop Leroy Brooks. Since 2006, Zahir has served as a senior acolyte at St. Mary’s and Christ Anglican Churches, and since 2009 has assumed the role as organist at St. George’s Anglican Church, serving as the youngest church organist in the church’s history. Zahir is also the official house organist on the second and fourth Sundays at St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Cayon. Zahir is currently enrolled at Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College. He would like to continue his education and attend medical school with the career plan to become a surgeon. Zahir is a 16 year old recent graduate of Basseterre High School. He is being honored as a Remarkable Teen under the category of Music.
Pernelle Abraham’s academic performance is exemplary. With averages ranging from 97-100, she has consistently held the first place position in every class since kindergarten. She has been recognized at the school’s Speech Day, the Test of Standards and First Class Honors. At the end of grade six, Pernelle was awarded the Most Outstanding Student honor and named Valedictorian of the graduating class. Pernelle is a piano student at Miss Pamela Wall’s Music School and gained distinction in grades one and two Theory and Practical Exams of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music with perfect scores of 100. In light of her excellence in music theory, Pernelle was given an award for the Most Outstanding Student. Pernelle has also been featured as a soloist in recitals and concerts. Pernelle consistently displays strong leadership and interpersonal skills too. In 2009, she was the only primary school student to be commissioned a School Prefect, and is now a member of the ICCS Student Council. She is consistently asked to represent her class as the Class Speaker, and is the youngest liturgical animator at her church. Pernelle is focused, sets realistic goals, and constantly excels in all of her endeavors. Although Pernelle is aware of her unique talents and abilities, she is humble and kind, selfless and giving. She is approachable and always willing to lend a hand. Pernelle spends her Sunday afternoons tutoring a classmate who is weak in math, showing her helpful techniques and explaining difficult areas in an effort to improve her friend’s understanding. Pernelle also volunteers at Slacks Preschool every afternoon after school. Pernelle hopes to combine her love for children and her love of learning to pursue a career as a medical doctor specializing in pediatrics. Pernelle is a 12 year old student at Immaculate Conception Convent School. She is being recognized as the Most Promising Teen for her combined abilities in leadership, academics, performing arts and community service.
Immaculate Conception Convent School
C. F. Bryant College
Patrick Walters is an exemplary student and a committed community leader, serving as an active member of SKNYPA, where he volunteers 40 hours a year to community service projects. Patrick is also the past President of the Young Leaders Project for Sustainable Development where his team placed first, and he was a member of the Washington Archibald High School Junior Achievement Program, leading his team to win Best Business Plan, Best Marketing Plan, Best Financial Plan and Best Overall Business. Patrick wrote his CXCs in 2010 where he attained ten subjects, passing five with distinction. Aside from his academic endeavors, Patrick has been a member of the national youth cricket team in both the U13 and U19 levels, as well as the Leeward Islands U17 team. Patrick has also been a regular contributor to Island Xpressions since 2008, a performance venue showcasing the talents of writers, musicians and actors. Patrick started writing at the age of eight. He finds his passion in words. Much of what he writes concerns issues relevant to his generation, and as an involved young man he finds much to write about. Poetry is the style of writing in which he is most interested: Patrick writes every day and considers himself a poet. In 2010, Patrick performed at the Independence Gala Night in front of the Prime Minister and other dignitaries. His poem, “Mash Down Two O’Clock,” was warmly received and he has continued to perform the selection by request at other events. Patrick derives inspiration for his poetry from music, conversations and current events. Patrick hopes to publish a book of his poems one day. Patrick Walters is a second year student at Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College, where he is taking courses in law, literature and sociology. He has plans to continue writing while studying for a career as a criminal lawyer. Patrick is being recognized as a Remarkable Teen in the category of Writing.
Aldeen is an involved teen. Co-captain of the Basseterre Cheerleading Squad for four years, Aldeen helped bring her team to victory in more than one competition. She also participated in netball, culture club and was a member of the Young Leaders Association. Aldeen has received numerous awards for her contributions over the years, including winning, in all categories, the 2009-2010 Effective Speaking Competition, winning the 2009 Rotary Club Talent Show in the category of dance, and winning the 2010 French Spelling Bee competition. Aldeen plans to continue dancing while pursuing her advanced education at Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College by becoming a member of the CFBC dance ensemble. A talented dancer, Aldeen is also an academic with a heart: she loves to share her passion for dance with others, and she wants to give back to the community by using her years of dance experience to volunteer and teach younger children both cheerleading and dance. Nominated by her mother, Mrs. Debbie Isaac wrote “Aldeen always strives for excellence and seeks to learn something new. Her passion for dance pushes her to thrive. She does everything to the best of her ability and possesses a high level of emotional intelligence.” Aldeen has a keen interest in radiology, but she also has an entrepreneurial spirit and dreams of one day opening a “super store” like Wal-mart. While undecided in which direction she will ultimately go, Aldeen is currently enrolled at Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College where she is studying business management. Aldeen Isaac is a 17 year old recent graduate of Washington Archibald High School. Finishing school with twelve distinctions, Aldeen placed on the Honor Roll and Principal’s List every term from first through fifth form. She receives the Remarkable Teen award for academic excellence.
Washington Archibald High
What makes Raheem especially remarkable is his ability to channel his love for animals into something truly enterprising. Nominated by his reading tutor, Ms. Millicent Nash, Raheem is a struggling reader who, as part of a group of young people with the same difficulty, receives extra help. Explains Ms. Nash when asked about Raheem, “When the session is finished, Raheem always stays back for an individual session. He is willing to do whatever it takes to learn.” From pit bulls to rabbits, Raheem loves animals. He lives in Belle Vue Village with his mother, grandfather, uncles, aunts, and some of his 19 siblings. Several years ago, Raheem’s uncle gave him a donkey to care for, and Raheem turned this gift into a thriving enterprise. Recognizing that tourists, on their way to Black Rocks, were taken with the young boy and the donkey, Raheem began posing for photographs, and eventually offering donkey rides. Charging $1.00 for a photograph and $2.00 to ride, Raheem was soon earning money. On being a successful business man at the age of 12, Raheem says “it makes me feel special and smart.” Raheem is a confident and determined young man. When asked for one word he would use to best describe himself, Raheem said “brilliant.” Raheem hates to see animals hurt, explaining that it is the one thing that makes him unhappy. His dream is to become a veterinarian and to turn his love for animals into a life long career. Raheem uses some of the money he earns from his business for school supplies and gives the rest to his mother to save toward his college education. Raheem is a 12 year old first form student at Saddlers Secondary School. He plans to attend Ross University and become a veterinarian. He receives the Remarkable Teen honor in the category of Most Enterprising.
Desi Brown, exemplary student, dreams of becoming an entertainment attorney one day. But it is not in the pursuit of her career that Desi is singly focused, but instead on the betterment of all youth: spreading her talents as far as she can to persuade other young people to become engaged in their lives, organizing for social change through meaningful youth involvement, and leading her community to a better tomorrow. Desi contributes close to 40 hours a month towards extracurricular activities in various forms as a member of SKNYPA and co-founder of Young Intellects and the Teen Spotlight Awards, a program that recognizes the academic accomplishments and extracurricular involvement of youths in the community – time spent in positive behavior that too often goes unappreciated. Desi also finds time for her passion of 11 years – dance. She is a part of the CFBC dance ensemble LEAP, a member of the Nubian Arts production company, and performs at Island Xpressions. Through LEAP, Desi uses her talents in dance to help prepare dancers of all ages to participate in pageants and other competitions. Some people try to persuade others to change their behavior directly by modeling the results of making positive choices – Desi is just such an individual. Desi believes that “success is built on being committed 24/7, on always moving forward and knowing where you want to go.” But it was not always so. Bullied throughout her younger years by classmates and peers, Desi was withdrawn and unhappy. In an effort to stand up for herself, she became a bully too, doing to others what had been done to her. Fighting to protect what was left of her dignity and self esteem, Desi lashed out in anger. She was suspended from school for fighting more than once. It was then that Desi knew she must let go of her painful past and take control of her life in a positive way before she lost the chance to build a promising future. Realizing “it’s only you who can create that better feeling,” Desi turned the experience of being bullied from a weakness into a strength. She remembered the feelings of being both victim and victimizer, and found the courage to admit where she’d been wrong. “I chose to follow through on what in my heart and mind I knew was right,” she says. Since that time, Desi has worked tirelessly to create new opportunities as a youth activist and a voice for change in her generation. Desi Brown is a 17 year old student at Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College, with plans to attend law school. She is being honored as a Remarkable Teen in the category of Youth Activism.
C. F. Bryant College
Charles E. Mills Secondary
Davon consistently placed on both the Honor Roll and Principal’s List from first form through fifth form. Last term, he tested in ten subjects and received nine distinctions. Davon describes himself as a dedicated student who is a “quick learner.” Davon is also an exemplary athlete, excelling in both footballl and track and field. In 2011, Davon represented Charles E Mills in the 400M event at the interschool competition. Davon’s talents extend even further than academics and athletics. He is also an accomplished musician. Davon plays piano, drums and steel pan, but he is most passionate about the piano. Davon is a member of the Free Generation Ministry band and plays with the group at different venues around the island. Davon also composes his own music. Chick Corea, a world renowned jazz pianist, is his role model, and jazz is his favorite genre of music. “I use music to express myself,” he says. “When things go wrong or I’m having a bad day, music is always there to bring me back up.” Davon is a committed community volunteer, serving as a tutor for classmates needing any kind of academic help. Davon says his motivation comes from his parents. “They were always there to encourage me to push myself. They made me believe that I could do anything I put my mind to.” Davon is a 17 year old recent graduate of Charles E. Mills Secondary School. He is currently enrolled in architectural engineering and computer classes at Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College where he plans to study to become an architect. He receives the Remarkable Teen award for academic excellence.
Valedictorian and President of her graduating class at Irishtown Primary, Kayla Weekes continues her leadership activities as Secretary of Cayon High Schoolâ€™s Student Council. A member of the school dance club, Kayla also loves to sing and dance. She enjoys cooking too, volunteering to cook for scout outings and other youth functions. Friends describe Kayla as generous, helpful, loyal and kind. Teachers also consider her a role model with excellent leadership qualities, as she was recognized by the PTA for her involvement in school and community life. Kayla is also a leader with initiative, spearheading a school wide fundraising effort to raise money to buy a tent for students to stand under during assemblies. She hopes to recruit others to help a local taxi driver who is beautifying neighborhoods by planting yellow bells. Kayla wants to experience as much as she possibly can during her high school years, taking advantage of the multitude of options open to students at Cayon High School. Kayla cares deeply about her country and hopes to contribute to finding solutions for the crime and violence that plague her generation. She believes strongly that everyone can make a contribution and can make a difference. Kayla is a 14 year old student at Cayon High School. She plans to attend medical school and pursue a career as a psychiatrist. Kayla receives the Most Remarkable Teen award in the category of Campus Leadership.
Washington Archibald High
Nominated by both the school counselor and the school Vice Principal, Dylan is described as a student who has not only learned to get his own anger under control by practicing anger management skills, but he is also a young man who continues to use those tools to help others. Involved with gangs at a young age, Dylan was known by fellow gang members by the moniker “Rage.” With a self-described “quick fuse,” Dylan was suspended from school numerous times for fighting. After an especially violent fight at Verchilds, Dylan was transferred to Washington Archibald High School. In 2010 Dylan made the decision to change, to leave the life of violence behind. Driven by an inner voice that demanded more of him, Dylan learned to redirect his energies and walk away from the fighting and negative behavior that was self-defeating. Dylan’s advice to others? “Don’t give negative peer pressure the power to decide your life for you; be careful who you choose for friends.” He has advice to members of the community on how to help kids feel connected, too: “Address the issue of missing fathers in the family structure. There are no role models for males, no one there to guide them. Kids without that kind of love feel like they have no one in their heart to believe in them.” It was challenging for Dylan convincing others to give him another chance. Dylan credits Mrs. Isaac, the Vice Principal at Washington Archibald, as a prime motivator in his decision to turn his life around. Since finding the courage to change, Dylan has worked hard to become a role model by encouraging others to making positive choices. “I didn’t want to be “Rage” anymore,” he explains. “I wanted to live a life that matters.” Now committed to combating violence in schools, Dylan says that he looks for signs of trouble and for ways to help. He wants to be an anti-violence activist and a peer mediator. He hopes that by telling his story he will be able to motivate and inspire others. Dylan Dias is an 18 year old recent graduate of Washington Archibald High School. He is being recognized as a Remarkable Teen in the category of Courage to Overcome: Personal Decision.
Shazill’s is a story of resiliency and inner strength. Shazill Bergan was a lonely child who often dreamed of a kinder life when, as an eight year old second grade student at Sandy Point Primary School, the unthinkable happened. Walking to the bus one afternoon, Shazill was grabbed by a man she recognized from the community. He forced her into his house where he brutally raped her. Scared and physically in pain, Shazill found her way back to her mother. She was taken to the hospital for tests which confirmed the attack, and soon after her assailant was arrested. Shazill was then placed in foster care and sent to live at the Children’s Home for her own protection pending the trial of the man who had raped her. Shazill explains that her saving grace during these troubled times were her mother’s daily visits. Unfortunately, the man who raped her was never brought to trial. After three years, Shazill’s mother took Shazill back home to live. Shazill left the Children’s Home with mixed emotions, sorry to leave the many friends she had made there, but happy to be returning home. The most inspiring part of Shazill’s story is the radiance of her optimism, the strength and dignity that she has displayed throughout her long ordeal. Shazill has never received the justice that would have meant so much to her healing, and she is still uncomfortable when she sees her assailant around the community, but she has found the inner strength to overcome the shame and horror of that day by helping others and staying positive. While a student at Verchilds, Shazill was an involved athlete and school leader who served as a role model and inspiration to classmates. Captain of both the school’s cricket and basketball teams and Vicecaptain of the football team, Shazill also participated in track and field events, including shot put, javelin and discus and played both netball and volleyball on the school teams. Shazill’s exemplary leadership skills led to her being chosen to represent Verchilds at the regional Youth Leadership Conference. Shazill is also a teenage mother with a one year old son, Kelvin. Kelvin’s father is an active part of their life and Shazill says that they plan to marry one day soon. Shazill names her brother Amos Francis as her role model. She looks up to Amos because he also had to overcome the hardship and pain of being bullied in the community because of the family’s poverty. Shazill says that his perseverance and determination proved everyone wrong when he finished high school and college and found a successful career as a teacher. Shazill shares her philosophy: “Life is filled with obstacles that can be overcome if you keep a positive attitude. Life is what you make it. You never really know who you are until you have to face life’s challenges.” Shazill is currently attending Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College where she is studying Culinary Arts. Once she completes this area of study, Shazill plans to enroll in the Nursing program. Shazill’s life goal is to become a nurse. “I get strength from helping others,” she says. “It’s what I hope to do for the rest of my life.” Shazill is an 18 year old graduate of Verchilds High School. Shazill receives the Spirit of Hope award in the category of Courage to Overcome.
Glenston Patrick is a persistent young man. Even while facing academic setbacks, he has remained focused and committed to doing his best at every task. Whether cricket, music, or learning a trade, Glenston has stayed involved, creating many pathways for personal success. Glenston is a resilient young man who strives for excellence; he understands the value of flexibility and humor in facing life’s challenges. Glenston has been playing cricket since he was six years old, representing St. Kitts and Nevis at National and International competitions as a member of the National Cricket Team and a member of the St. Kitts Cricket Club. He was also captain of his high school cricket team. In 2008 and 2010, Glenston received the Man of the Match Trophy. Glenston is an active participant in the St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force Band as well, playing at Independence Day celebrations and Christmas Galas. Glenston is an accomplished musician playing both the saxophone and clarinet, but it is the saxophone that he most loves. “Music is my passion,” he says. “Making music is a way for me to express my feelings. It also brings joy to others.” Glenston has held several jobs throughout his young life, including as a security camera repairman, air conditioning and refrigeration repairman, a server and a bartender. Glenston feels it is important to work hard, to act with discipline and focus and to stay on top of things. “Not everyone has to go to college to achieve their goals,” he says. “It’s finding that thing you do best, and then doing whatever it takes to succeed.” Glenston is an 18 year old student at AVEC, the Advanced Vocational Education Centre. He receives the Remarkable Teen award in the category of Commitment to Personal Excellence.
Rae Dawn Thomas has been actively involved in drama since 2005 when she was still a student at Tucker Clark Primary School. “Drama helped me gain confidence in myself,” she says. “Acting onstage was my emotional outlet.” President of the thirty-member Youth Exploring Talent Theatre group directed by nominator Moses Byron, Rae Dawn works as a coach for children ages six through twelve every Saturday afternoon, training them to develop acting skills and stage performance techniques. One of her goals for the clinic is to make it a place where kids can deal with their emotions, both negative and positive. “Anger, pain whatever they’re feeling, I tell them it’s a safe place for them to be real and I encourage them to act out on stage, not offstage.” Rae Dawn has made several DVDs featuring her unique talent as an actress, including “Hurry Dog Eat Raw Corn” and “Rae Girl on Stage.” Her life dream is to become the first actress from St. Kitts to reach Hollywood. Rae Dawn is also committed to sharing her passion for drama by providing a path for others to pursue their love for the arts. Three years ago Rae Dawn created a scholarship program for students at Tucker Clark Primary School. Performing a monologue at the school to raise money to fund the program, Rae Dawn and others then select two drama students each year to receive the scholarship money, which is then used to pay for school supplies. Committed to academics as well, Rae Dawn graduated from Basseterre High School with eight distinctions. Rae Dawn has a back up career plan too, and will continue to advance her education in the field of accounting. Rae Dawn is a 16 year old graduate of Basseterre High School, and currently attends Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College. She is being recognized as a Remarkable Teen in the category of Theatre Arts.
Rae Dawn Thomas
Sheldon Richards is a natural born leader who likes to assume a leadership role whenever the opportunity is there. Sheldon believes that leadership takes commitment and tenacity: “You have to know yourself, but remain flexible and open to ideas from others; and you have to be willing to take risks.” Sheldon believes that a good leader must be willing to take responsibility for both project successes and setbacks. At Saddlers Primary School, Sheldon was Valedictorian of his sixth grade class, Captain of the football team, Class Representative and Class Prefect. A disciplined and serious student, Sheldon excels at academics, earning a place on both the Honor Roll and Principal’s List. Sheldon has earned a Gold Honor for achievement and is the recipient of the Social Security Scholarship, a national program that contributes financial aid for promising students from first form through college. Sheldon describes himself as “purposeful.” Sheldon is currently the Vice President of the Saddlers Secondary School Student Council and was selected to represent the school in 2011 at a Council Leadership Retreat held in Nevis. He found his participation in this workshop to be an inspiring experience and is hopeful that there will be more opportunities where young people can get together to share ideas. Sheldon is also part of the Junior Achievers Entrepreneurial program at Saddlers Secondary and because of his computer skills was asked to take on the job of managing and updating the school’s website. Sheldon remains an avid contributor to the community, believing that being involved is part of every citizen’s responsibility. Asked to relate an especially inspiring memory, Sheldon shares a moment he had with Mr. Curtis Martin, Speaker of the House. Speaker Martin was making a presentation for the Career Day at Saddlers Secondary School when Sheldon was chosen to give the vote of thanks. After Sheldon’s remarks, Speaker Martin approached him and complimented him on not just the delivery of his thank you, but also the content of his message. “I believe you will make a difference as a leader,” Speaker Martin told him. “There is no limit to what you can do, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see you as Prime Minister one day.” Sheldon thinks about Speaker Martin’s words often, and remains motivated by this especially positive exchange. Sheldon is a 14 year old student at Saddlers Secondary School who intends on becoming a physician one day, specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. He is being recognized as a Remarkable Teen in the category of Leadership.
A struggling student at Basseterre, Taveda Isaac finally found her niche a couple of years ago when she enrolled in a textiles and design class: “I love the feel of fabric,” she says. “The colors, the patterns, they inspire me to be creative. I can envision how they will fit. Whenever I get something in my head, I create a tiny version with things I have nearby, and then I can’t wait to get home to my sewing machine to make it. Everything about fashion and design fascinates me.” Nominated by Maxine Walters, her textile and design teacher at Basseterre High School, Taveda credits Mrs. Walters with motivating her to explore her creativity. “She’s taught me everything I know, and she is always there to support me.” Taveda is currently enrolled at AVEC, where she is taking Business Secretarial courses. The two year program will teach her a variety of skills, including typing, English, math, computer and life skills. When asked how she feels about being honored as a remarkable teen, Taveda says, “I’ve never been recognized for being good at anything before. It feels really good to know that somebody finally noticed me.” Taveda plans to continue to advance her skills as a seamstress by taking private classes with skilled tailors and designers. She hopes to eventually teach the textiles and design course in high schools and to share her passion for design with others. Taveda’s life goal is to open a clothing store here in St. Kitts. Taveda is an 18 year old graduate of Basseterre High School. She receives the Remarkable Teen award in the category of Fashion Design.
Washington Archibald High
Social consciousness is defined “as an awareness of the problems and difficulties that communities face, and the issues which are important both individually and collectively.” Trevaughn Williams is passionate about speaking out about such issues and about providing young people with a forum where their voices can be heard. Even at six, Trevaughn recognized an opportunity as he tagged along to ZIZ with his sister who had an appointment there. While waiting for her, a woman named Jasmine asked him if he would like to say a few words on the program she was currently hosting. Trevaughn said “yes” and a star was born. Six years later Trevaughn continues to host the ZIZ Saturday radio program Totally for Kids presenting topics for discussion on a variety of issues that affect youth in St. Kitts and Nevis. Trevaughn has a strong voice and a quick mind. Mature beyond his years, he views problems in the community as challenges that can be addressed through information sharing and communication. He also believes it is important to provide diverse opportunities for engagement between young people and adults as a critical first step in building a foundation for genuine partnerships, respect and understanding. Trevaughn feels strongly that programs such as Totally for Kids can be the catalyst for finding solutions through collective dialogue. Appreciating the role social consciousness and activism have played in history, Trevaughn has many role models that he considers inspirational, including Martin Luther King, Jr. Trevaughn is also committed to academic excellence. Sixth grade class Valedictorian, he has always believed in his dreams. Trevaughn considers himself to be a fair minded and curious person – determined to learn everything he can from as many different perspectives as possible. Trevaughn is a 12 year old student at Washington Archibald High, with plans to attend medical school and become a physician. He receives the Remarkable Teen award in the category of Social Conscience.
When Jacintha Marsham was just 14 years old, she was forced to drop out of school due to pregnancy. After the birth of her son Zion’ni, Jacintha returned to Verchilds High determined to finish school and make a better life for her son. Things were going okay, when during the summer after form 4A1 tragedy struck: Jacintha was taking an afternoon nap when she heard shots in the distance and her grandmother’s screams. She rushed to her grandmother’s side, and together they ran up the hill to where the shots were fired. Covered in blood, her brother Dexter was being cradled in the arms of her brother Ricaldo. Both were praying. People in the crowd were shouting at her, saying that Alpha, her son’s father, had shot Dexter. In the chaos of the scene, Jacintha realized that her son was missing. The police couldn’t find Alpha or Zion’ni. Finally, a neighbor from another village heard a baby crying, and Zion’ni was found alone in the bedroom of Alpha’s house. Alpha was arrested for Dexter’s murder and remains in prison today, but the nightmare of that day has forever changed Jacintha’s life. Dexter was her best friend, the brother she was closest to. People blamed Jacintha for his death, saying that if she’d stayed away from Alpha like she’d been warned, her brother would be alive today. Jacintha carries the guilt of that burden with her everywhere. The pain and loss of that day are etched deeply in her heart. Jacintha credits her cousin Rosyln with helping her find the courage to overcome her adversities and move forward with her life. “She has always been there for me,” Jacintha says of Rosyln. “She is the one person I know who loves me unconditionally, and her love gives me the strength to carry on. It’s not about me anymore; it’s about me and my son, making a better life for him.” Jacintha’s grades dropped as she tried to deal with her loss, but recovered with determination and hard work. Jacintha graduated from Verchilds High School last spring, sitting nine subjects and passing seven. Jacintha believes it is important for adults to reach out to young people at an early age, to start in preschool by teaching children the impact that today’s decisions will have on tomorrow. Jacintha gives advice to other young people: “Be careful who you choose to be your friends; and think twice before you make any decisions. You’ve got to understand that you can’t take back something once it’s been done.” Jacintha is a 17 year old graduate of Verchilds High School, and is currently enrolled at Clarence F. Bryant College. She has plans to pursue a career in criminal law. She receives the Remarkable Teen award in the category of Courage to Overcome: Personal Adversity.
Immaculate Conception Convent School
At the age of nine, Leahcim Phipps was diagnosed with dyslexia. Faced with the academic challenges of this learning disability, Leahcim had to work hard with tutors to discover techniques and reading skills to help him learn in spite of his impairment. Leahcim comes from a family who loves the kitchen. His grandfather was a baker, his grandmother an accomplished caterer, his uncles, aunts and father passionate about food and cooking. Leahcim shares their passion and has participated in several cooking competitions. Most recently, Leahcim and his teammates from ICCS were recognized for the delicious meal of Mahi Mahi and mashed potatoes they prepared for the Department of Youth’s 2010 Chef ’s Competition. Describing his love of cooking Leahcim explains. “Cooking is a way for me to be creative. I see it as art, a place where I am able to express myself through food. When I look at ingredients on their own, they don’t really mean anything. Then I put them together in a creative way and I find I can make something out of nothing; something that brings a smile to a person’s face. I love that feeling.” In 2010, Leahcim went on a job attachment to the Beach House restaurant where he received much encouragement from the Chef and other kitchen staff. After volunteering at the restaurant, he was offered a full time summer job as an appetizer chef in 2011. Leahcim continues to work at the Beach House Wednesday after school and on Saturday helping to prepare such culinary delights as Lobster Pho Soup, Cerviche of Snapper and the island renowned Beach House Salad. Leahcim is also a sports enthusiast and has been playing cricket since he was eight. He is currently Captain of the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College cricket team. Most recently, Leahcim traveled to Guyana as part of the Leeward Islands cricket team. Nominated by Lisa Pistana, former principal of ICCS, Ms. Pistana is asked what she thinks sets Leahcim apart from his peers. “It is his passion for cooking and cricket,” she says. “It is Leahcim’s fortitude and passion that motivates him to excel.” Leahcim plans to attend the Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts School in Miami before returning to St. Kitts to open his own restaurant. Leahcim is a 17 year old student at Immaculate Conception Convent School. He is being recognized as a Remarkable Teen in the category of Culinary Arts.
Tishanna Hazel believes that a good citizen should do their share to make their school, their community and the world a better place by participating in community service, taking care of the environment, and treating other people with respect and dignity. Tishanna does all that and more. A thoughtful young woman, Tishanna strives to be a community resource and work towards the betterment of her country and fellow citizens. Tishanna believes that young people need to do whatever they can both individually and collectively to be good citizens and ready themselves to become tomorrows leader today. Tishanna believes that everyone can be a good leader if they are committed to cooperative collaboration. As Valedictorian of her graduating class at Basseterre High, Tishanna tested for 12 subjects, earning 11 distinctions. She has been an active participant in many academic competitions throughout her life, and was part of the Junior Achievement Entrepreneurial program where her team created and operated a successful business. Tishanna was also a member of a group called Teen Challenge from first through fifth form. Teen Challenge is a religious club with the mission of spreading the spiritual message that through God anything is possible. Tishanna continues to serve as an advisory member for Teen Challenge today. Tishanna enjoys singing too as part of the Choral Ensemble at Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College and in the choir at her church. Tishanna believes that singing is an expression of one’s emotions: “Sometimes you are able to touch people’s hearts when you sing,” she says. Tishanna feels strongly that self esteem is the most important characteristic to future success because it is in believing in yourself that you find the internal strength to make good choices. “You can avoid being influenced to do the wrong thing if you have high self esteem,” she says. Tishanna also feels it is important to have goals. “Without goals you don’t have anything to work toward. I believe in myself and I know I can do whatever I put my mind to.” Tishanna will be entering her second year at Clarence Fitzroy College this fall where she is studying science and math. She plans to continue her education in medical school with the career goal of becoming a physician specializing in Internal Medicine. Tishanna is a 17 year old graduate of Basseterre High School. She receives the Remarkable Teen award in the category of Citizenship.
Charles E. Mills Secondary
DeLonte seeks to involve himself in almost every aspect of the community. He believes strongly that it is through a combination of communication and action that modern society can find solutions to almost every situation. While a student at CEMSS, DeLonte served as a member of the Student Council for four years. He was also an active youth organizer and has been a consistent voice for his peers. DeLonte loves to plan and organize. Committed to his position as class leader, DeLonte organized numerous activities to encourage student participation and then spearheaded fundraisers to support those activities. In fifth form, DeLonte chaired the first ever prom committee, an endeavor he rates as highly successful. DeLonte is presently a planning member of the group YEDAE, Youth Empowering Development through Arts and Entertainment. As part of this group, members plan and organize events for talented young people to entertain and raise money for local causes. They are currently producing a musical recital scheduled for February 2012. DeLonte is an articulate young man who loves to debate. He plans to pursue a career in political science and government. DeLonte’s ultimate goal is to become Prime Minister of St. Kitts. DeLonte feels it is important for young people to have a dream and to stay focused on that dream. He would like to continue to be a voice for his generation, empowering others to speak their minds and get involved. Nominated by his teacher, Dorothy Markman-Caines, Mrs. Caines explains what she believes sets DeLonte apart from his peers. “DeLonte is dynamic – an outspoken, team-player kind of person – one of those students you can always count on to rally to the cause and motivate others to do the same.” DeLonte is a recent graduate of Charles E. Mills Secondary School and plans to attend law school. He is currently enrolled at Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College, where he is studying sociology. He is being recognized as a Remarkable Teen in the category of Civic Involvement.
Kailah was excited about her second year of high school and looked forward to the opportunities that lay ahead. Kailah’s world was a happy place; she loved the dawn of each day. On August 9, 2007, all that changed. Kailah woke with a nagging back pain, a persistent ache that increased during the day. On the sixth day, Kailah was in the shower when she felt like she was going to collapse. She began to see all kinds of colors, especially red, and when she tried to walk down the hall to return to her bedroom she realized she couldn’t feel the ground beneath her feet. Her mother called an ambulance and raced Kailah to the hospital. Lying in the hospital bed, Kailah realized she was paralyzed. “I felt like I was going to die,” she says. “I couldn’t move, I couldn’t feel my limbs. It was like everything shut down. I was angry, mad at everything and everyone. I kept asking for my life to be ended when suddenly, a peace came over me, and I knew I would accept my fate. I don’t know if what I experienced at that moment is what people call ‘divine intervention,’ but I know I was embraced by a force of spirit that filled me with strength and hope, and I knew that from that day on I could endure anything.” Kailah went to Antigua for an MRI and was diagnosed with Acute Transverse Myelitis, a neurological disorder caused by an inflammatory process affecting a thickening of the spinal cord. What preceded Kailah contracting this condition is not known, but the medical professionals say there are several stages of recovery from partial to full recovery, so the prognosis is hopeful, even though the timeline is uncertain. It has been four years now, and Kailah’s optimism and courage have allowed her to turn this crippling disability into an inspiration that speaks to the power of the human spirit. Kailah embraces everything she does with an exuberance and determination that is remarkable. She loves computers and is learning graphic design. Kailah also enjoys writing lyrics and hopes to one day publish her songs – in fact, this September, she performed an original song at the Independence Day Gala. “I think I’m a nicer person since the paralysis, and I definitely have more perspective,” she says. “I have learned that an emotional disability is much more crippling than a physical disability. I want to use my story to motivate others, to tell people that the impossible is possible as long as you have faith and never ever give up.” Clifford Govia, principal of Washington Archibald High School, states, “Kailah’s resilience exemplifies courage. Other children, even adults, would have given up or become depressed and withdrawn, yet Kailah remains strong willed and determined in the face of adversity.” Kailah James is a 16 year old recent graduate of Washington Archibald High School. She is being honored as a Remarkable Teen in the category of Courage to Overcome: Health Condition.
Washington Archibald High
N’Kosi Lucas found the transition to high school overwhelming. He started his high school life at Verchilds as a remedial student placed in class 1V4. Surprised and unhappy with his placement, N’Kosi felt intimidated by classmates who he says were mostly repeaters. In March of that year he stopped attending school altogether, dressing for school and then waiting for his parents to leave the house for work before returning home where he spent the day hiding his truancy from both his parents and his teachers. In July of that year, his parents found out about his truancy when Child Protective Services officers came to his house with a summons. The officers questioned N’Kosi, thinking that it was his parents who had been keeping him from school. N’Kosi was frightened and promised to return to school the following term. He was given a reprieve and again placed in remedial classes. He says he was bullied and beaten up by classmates who were angry at him for his learning failures, calling him stupid and blaming him for keeping the class behind. Running from his problems, N’Kosi again tried truancy, but this time was caught after a month and given the ultimatum of returning to school immediately or facing consequences through the courts. It was then that N’Kosi realized he was in trouble, his life terribly off course. “I knew I needed to change… now,” he says, and with the help of school counselors and family, N’Kosi began the journey to turn his life around. But this turn around wasn’t only in academics, N’Kosi also became a school leader and an active volunteer in the community. When N’Kosi graduated from Verchilds, he had served as President of the Prom and Graduating Committees, President of Student Council, and was a fifteen hour-a-week volunteer at the community library. N’Kosi tested in eight subjects, passing all; one with distinction. Electronic Document Preparation Management is a skill he has mastered and enjoys sharing with others as he continues to volunteer to tutor anyone who needs help in this area. N’Kosi believes that he is lucky to have had the support of caring adults even after making so many bad decisions. “I was young and stupid,” he says, “always blaming others for what was wrong with my life. It was when I was willing to admit my mistakes and accept the constructive criticism of others that I finally found the courage to change.” N’Kosi is enrolled online in the Penn Foster College Associate Degree in Human Resources Management program. He has completed his first semester and is looking forward to continuing in his pursuit of an AA degree. N’Kosi is an 18 year old graduate of Verchilds High School. N’Kosi receives the Remarkable Teen award in the category of Courage to Overcome: Personal Challenge.
Renicia McDonald attends church daily, helping out in any way she can. She assists the church accountant in record keeping, occasionally leads prayer meetings, and assists with the youth groups in whatever way she is needed. Renicia continues to develop a better understanding of the Bible and its basic Christian doctrines by attending weekly Bible study classes with other young people from her congregation. She also enjoys the opportunity to minister in the community, and talks to prisoners as part of that commitment. Renicia believes it is important to find your purpose in life and to live a life that is admirable. She looks for opportunities to serve, guidance in using her spiritual gifts, and lives to serve others. When notified of her selection for this award, Renicia said, “I am overjoyed at being chosen. My journey to God has been great and I hope that I can be an inspiration to others.” Committed to academic excellence as well, Renicia passed ten subjects, seven with distinction. She is also the recipient of the TDC Scholarship, a six-year program that helps students with school costs while also providing a Saturday intern position where students are given the opportunity to learn business from hands-on experience. In 2011, Renicia chaired the annual TDC Scholarship program banquet, a daunting task, but one which she is proud of herself for taking on. “It was a lot of work, but a big success.” Renicia was also involved in the debate club at Washington Archibald High School and plans to continue by joining the debate society at Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College. She is currently enrolled at CFBC, focusing her studies in the area of natural sciences. When she completes her two years of advanced study, Renicia plans to attend a medical school in the Caribbean, where she hopes to realize her dream of becoming a pediatrician. Renicia is a 17 year old recent graduate of Washington Archibald High School. She receives the Remarkable Teen award in the category of Spiritual Commitment.
Washington Archibald High
For the past six years, Shaquille Fredericks has volunteered at the Basseterre Fire Station on an average of 24 hours a week. He logs over 1,200 hours of community service each year even while holding down a full time job. Shaquille is also a member of the Fire Department’s cricket team and a former military cadet. While a fourth form student, Shaquille found that his family needed him. To do his part to help with finances, Shaquille quit school and got a full time job. In spite of this setback, Shaquille never waivered in his loyalty to fire and rescue services and continued to serve as an auxiliary officer. Shaquille’s father is a long time firefighter. When Shaquille was young, he allowed him to come along to a few fires to watch the men work. Recognizing the excitement in Shaquille as he watched the firefighters do their job, Shaquille’s father encouraged him to volunteer for the department. Shaquille was just 12 years old at the time, and he has been volunteering ever since. Shaquille hopes to be hired by the Fire Department next year. When Shaquille was young, he remembers chasing fire engines to see where they were headed. He was often able to spot a fire even before he heard the sirens. Shaquille believes that to succeed you need to find something you love, something to motivate you, something to inspire you. Shaquille feels fortunate that he discovered his passion at such a young age. “Some people spend their whole lives never knowing what it is they really want to do, or doing something they don’t like just to earn a living,” he says. “I’ve known that I want to be a firefighter since the time I was 12, and that is a dream that will never change.” Shaquille is 19 years old and works in security as a full time employee of the Port Authority. Shaquille possesses exemplary dedication to serving the community. He is hard working and committed; passionate about helping people. Shaquille receives the Remarkable Teen award for his exceptional commitment to Community Service.
Ministers of Federal Government Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas
Prime Minister Minister of Finance, Sustainable Development and Human Resource Development MP St. Kitts District #6
Hon. Sam Condor
Deputy Prime Minister Minister of Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security, Labor, Immigration, and Social Security MP St. Kitts District #3
Hon. Dr. Earl Martin
Minister of Housing, Public Works, Energy and Utilities MP St. Kitts District #1
Hon. Marcella Liburd
Minister of Health, Social Services, Community Development, Culture, and Gender Affairs MP St. Kitts District #2
Hon. Nigel Carty
Minister of Education and Information
Hon. Patrice Nisbett
Attorney General Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs
Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris
Senior Minister Minister of International Trade, Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, Marine Resources, Consumer Affairs and Constituency Empowerment MP St. Kitts District #7
Hon. Glenn Phillip
Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports, Information Technology, Telecommunications and Post MP St. Kitts District #4
Hon. Richard Skerritt
Minister of Tourism and Intâ€™l Transport
Opposition in Federal Parliament Hon. Mark Brantley
Hon. Vance Amory
Leader of the Opposition MP Nevis District #9
MP Nevis District #10
Hon. Eugene Hamilton MP St. Kitts District #8
Hon. Shawn Richards MP St. Kitts District #5
Hon. Senator Vincent Byron
Speaker of the National Assembly Hon. Curtis Martin Program Design ~ Christopher Nelson, U.S. Peace Corps Profiles ~ Connie Howard, U.S. Peace Corps Photographs ~ Pierre Liburd, Department of Youth
Published on Oct 13, 2011
In conjunction with a fellow Peace Corps Volunteer, I collected professional photographs and inspirational vignettes of each honoree and pub...