Press Release

BVI Tourist Board
House of Assembly
Release Date:
Monday, 19 October 2020 - 6:34pm

Junior Minister for Tourism and Territorial Member Honourable Sharie de Castro announced the winners of the 2020 Territorial Back-to-School Essay Competition that was held on Monday, October 19, 2020.

Students from across the Territory were challenged to write on one of the following topics for the Back-to-School Essay competition:

PRIMARY:         My COVID-19 Experience

                          My Role In Keeping The BVI COVID Free 

                          The Impact of the Pandemic on my Family

SECONDARY:   BVI Tourism in a Global Pandemic

TERTIARY:        The BVI Post-Pandemic   

Over 60 entries in this inaugural essay competition were received from across the Territory. The competition was open to all students in the British Virgin Islands and was an opportunity for the youth to articulate their experience of the COVID-19 pandemic based on their chosen topic.  Participants were expected to structure their essays around one of the given topics which were designed to engender insightful youth perspective on how the pandemic has impacted our economy, families and our Tourism sector. Additionally, students were prompted to express their involvement in keeping the BVI COVID free.

Honourable de Castro stated, “It was incredibly inspiring to read all the essays submitted for the contest. Students showed their creativity and articulated their views using varied writing styles that vividly captured their experience and ideas. It was humbling and insightful to envision the impact of the pandemic from their perspective.”

The top essay in the Primary Grades 1-3 category was written by Danya Lettsome, a third grader at the Cedar International School. She will receive an iPad Mini 64GB.

The top essays in the Primary Grades 4-6 category were written by Aaliyah Freeman, a sixth grader at the Ebenezer Thomas Primary School and Tykai Fahie, a fifth grader at the Joyce Samuel Primary School. They will each receive the iPad 7th Generation 128 GB.

The top essay in the Secondary Grades 7-9 category was written by Anjanique Cheltenham, a ninth grader at the Elmore Stoutt High School. She will receive a Lenovo IdeaPad.

The top essay in the Secondary Grades 10-12 category was written by Ryan Ramlall, an eleventh grader at the Bregado Flax Educational Centre Secondary Division. He will receive a Lenovo Think Pad.

The top essay in the Tertiary category was written by Olivia Freeman from the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College. She will receive a Macbook Air 256 GB.

Honourable de Castro concluded, “While COVID-19 forced us to modify our educational initiatives, we were eager to connect with students in a different way, namely through this essay competition. It was a resounding success and I look forward to the competition next year.”

The 2020 Territorial Back-to-School Essay Competition was developed as an avenue to give children the opportunity to express their views on the current challenging situation faced in the Territory as a result of COVID-19.


Linton Leonard

Public Relations Officer
Office of the House of Assembly
Telephone: 468-6900 ext. 6958