(CMR) An accomplished young dancer, a decorated athlete, and a youth mental health activist were among 15 young people whose achievements and talents were celebrated at the recent Proud of Them Round 14 awards ceremony under the theme: “Inspiration in Action.”
This year marked the 10th anniversary of the awards program, which has now honored over 140 youths. To celebrate the milestone, rebranded campaign materials debuted a new logo and colors. In addition to this, the awards were expanded to include two (2) Rising Stars, demonstrating the significant strides made by Cayman’s youth.
2023 honorees include Arianna McCoy, Aryana Grant, Ashley Gooden, Carrie McCoy, Chloe McClymont, Davonte Howell, Diana DeMercado, Josani Burke, Keanna Kelly, Manusri Prabhakar, Matthew Bodden, Meisha Thompson, Monina Thompson, Peyton Morrison and Rachell Pascal. The rising stars were Ché Scott and Mal'yka Morrison.
Honorees received a cheque for $1,000; rising stars received an award of $300, and all youth were presented with a commemorative certificate to mark their achievements. Honourees have also been featured on billboards across the Cayman Islands.
This year, the program was supported with sponsorships from Greenlight Re (Silver sponsor), CICSA Co-operative Credit Union Ltd. (Bronze sponsor), PwC Cayman and Cayman First (award sponsors).
Silver sponsor Greenlight Re remarked: “Greenlight Re is honored to support the Proud of Them campaign, which recognizes the positive contributions made by individuals and provides encouragement for the youth of the Cayman Islands.”
The annual gala at the Kimpton Seafire ballroom was hosted by the Youth Services Unit (YSU) of the Ministry of Youth, Sports & Heritage (MYSH); and provided an opportunity to reflect on the merits of honourees and rising stars in areas of community service, business, academics, sports and culture. Honorees who were unable to attend to receive their awards in person were represented by proxies. Hosting the event were Proud of Them alumni Lloyd Barker and Mariah Tibbetts.
MYSH Minister, Hon. Isaac Rankine, who gave remarks at the gala, noted, “These achievements aren't just personal wins; they are a catalyst for other young people to embark on their own success stories. I am pleased to witness the program actively creating a network of youth who will inspire the next generation to make lasting impacts on our community.”
The guests of honor were joined by friends, family, and Her Excellency the Governor, Mrs. Jane Owen; Deputy Governor, Hon. Franz Manderson; Deputy Premier & Minister for Financial Services & Commerce and Investment, Innovation and Social Development, Hon. Andre Ebanks; Minister for Sustainability and Climate Resiliency, Hon. Katherine Ebanks-Wilks; Minister for Youth, Sports, & Heritage, Hon. Isaac Rankine; Minister for Health & Wellness, Hon. Sabrina Turner; and Parliamentary Secretary Mr. Bernie Bush.
Performances by singer Madam Nirosa, poet Latoya Francis and entertainer Phoenix Singh were a highlight of the evening, which also included a special keynote address from Proud of Them alum Jovonnie Anglin.
Visit the honoree webpage to watch the videos and learn more about each of their outstanding achievements at www.youthservices.ky/honourees.