Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, has reiterated his Government’s commitment to youth development and investing in the Territory’s young people.
Premier Smith in remarks at the 2016 Emerging Fellows Awards ceremony on June 7 stated that his Government is serious and passionate about the Territory’s youth.
Premier Smith said, “We understand that there is no better investment, than in the future of the young people of the British Virgin Islands. We believe that children must be taught how to think. That is why my Government is working tirelessly to ensure to create a Territory of doers, thinkers, innovators movers and shakers.”
Premier Smith told the awardees that as recipients of this award, they are not just demonstrating academics, athletic, or artistic skills.
He said, “You are demonstrating leadership qualities, which are critical for future leaders of this country. You have now earned the privilege of becoming young ambassadors for this Territory.”
Premier Smith encouraged the recipients not to take the award lightly, but to learn from the experience and encourage their classmates to position themselves so they could also benefit from the programme. He also urged the entire community to help produce the type of leaders who will take this Territory forward.
Minister for Education and Culture, Honourable Myron V. Walwyn thanked Premier Smith for his support of the Emerging Fellows Awards programme, and for helping to provide opportunities for the youth of the British Virgin Islands to explore their skills, talents and the world through the Emerging Fellows Award.
The 2016 Emerging Fellows are: Anika Christopher, Bregado Flax Educational Centre; Jolene Bowens, Bregado Flax Educational Centre; Kaleb C. Dawson, Elmore Stoutt High School; Janae A. Estridge, Elmore Stoutt High School; Amali Graham, Elmore Stoutt High School; J’Sally O’Niel, Bregado Flax Educational Centre, Anwar Penn, Elmore Stoutt High School; J’Nique L. Williams, Bregado Flax Educational Centre; Whitney J. Smith, H. Lavity Stoutt Community College; and Valique Graham, H. Lavity Stoutt Community College.
The Virgin Islands Emerging Fellows Award was created in 2012 and is a grant administered by the Government of the Virgin Islands, through the Ministry of Education and Culture. This award is given on an annual basis to young people ages 10 to20 who show exceptional promise in sports, arts and/or academics.
The award also provides the Virgin Islands community with a structured avenue for parents and youngsters to seek public funding to support the aspirations of young people.
The Government anticipates that the entire community will benefit from the skills and talent of young persons with the investment that is made in their development.