Charlestown –Nevis—Coordinator of the Youth Department within the Department of Youth and Sports, on the island of Nevis, Miss Zahnela Claxton on Tuesday lauded the exemplary efforts of the twenty-five youths from the Federation who were selected as the distinguished twenty-five most remarkable teens for 2015.
The awards ceremony which highlights the efforts of youths 12 to 19 years of age, in such areas as Courage to Overcome, Leadership, and Youth Activism, was held on the evening of Thursday 12th November at the House of Assembly chambers in Basseterre.
The specially called sitting of the national assembly was called to salute the teenagers for their outstanding contributions. The program which is coordinated by the Department of Youth Empowerment in St. Kitts, in collaboration with the Youth and Sports Department in Nevis, is in its fifth year. This year significantly saw the honouring of the 125th awardee in the program, since its inception.
Miss Claxton noted that members of the society are quick to point to the downfalls of the young people and their many transgressions are highlighted on the front pages of the newspapers, but not so quick to highlight the positives that are done by the youth of the nation.
She feels that more effort should be placed on emphasizing the good done by the young people and highlight those who are positive so that they can be mentors for those who are not like minded.
She was also quick to point out that of the 25 awardees, some 16 were young men.
She had special words of commendation for the seven persons who were awarded from Nevis:
Kayla Sandiford—Nevis International Secondary School
Colin Archibald—Nevis sixth form College
Trevin Nisbett—Nevis sixth form College
Gassano Barry-Nevis Sixth form College
Shavonne Maynard—Nevis sixth form College
Lucien York-Charlestown Secondary School
Tajarie Arthurton-Gingerland Secondary School
She also noted that the even though the awards ceremony went on until almost midnight, it was well coordinated and not boring in anyway.
The profiles of the awardees were read by a combination of previous awardees; Caricom youth ambassadors and members of the St. Kitts National Youth Parliament Association (SKNYPA). The awards were presented by members of parliament from the incumbent government and the opposition members as well.
Towards the end of the proceedings, Director of Youth Empowerment, Geoffrey Hanley, made a stirring presentation during which he stated that the awards have had a significant impact on youth in the past.
Miss Claxton stated that the process does not end with the awards, as the awardees now have projects which they will be working on and if all goes well, they will climax with a grand presentation in Nevis.
The process of choosing the next group awardees will commence in March and end in June of next year and Miss Claxton indicated that anyone within the community can collect the requisite form and nominate any outstanding youth of their choice for the prestigious award.
The process also involves interviews between June and August and then there is collaboration between the Youth Departments on both islands, before the final selections are made.
The full list of the twenty-five most remarkable teens for 2015 is as follows:
Courage to Overcome
Anson Bell Carty and Akeem Chumney
The Performing Arts
Kaylor Bass; Kayla Farrell, Shavonne Maynard and Vakiel Herbert.
Kayla, Shavonne, and Vakiel were recognised with an emphasis on music.
Trevis Belle, and Vikell Douglas Edwards.
Tyana Brookes and Noel Nicholls
Four Scholar Athletes were also recognized
Colin Archibald, Trevin Nisbett, Gassano Barry, and Tajarie Arthurton.
Rikki Blake Brookes, Shakeen Brown and Zonelle Hutchinson
The Young Entrepreneur Award
Lucien York, Dylan Browne, Tianna Bowery, and Athwon Blackett
Miss Claxton also had warm words of gratitude for all those persons and institutions, including the Ministry of Social d Development for ensuring that the awardees and the accompanying entourage, got to and from St. Kitts safely. She was grateful for the late services provided by Winston Perkins and his boat and Charles Allen and his bus in ensuring that the awardees got home safely, sometime around 2 am.