Statement By Minister For Education And Culture Honourable Myron Walwyn
At The Third Sitting Of The Fourth Session Of
The Second House Of Assembly Of The Virgin Islands
The Emerging Fellows Award
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Madame Speaker, I rise to give this Honourable House an update on the Emerging Fellows Award Programme. The Virgin Islands Emerging Fellow Award is a grant administered by the Ministry of Education and Culture on an annual basis to young people, ages 10 – 20 who have excelled in various fields of sports, academics and the Arts who demonstrate a keenness to commit to excellence in their chosen area.
The Ministry recognized the extraordinary promise demonstrated by young people of the Virgin Islands. The grant was therefore created in April 2012 to enable young Virgin Islanders to pursue their dreams by providing them with opportunities to enhance their skills and develop their craft through training, exposure and mentorship.
The award also provides the Virgin Islands community Madame Speaker, with a structured avenue for parents and interested members of our Territory to seek public funding to support the aspirations of our young people. The ultimate goal of the award is to prepare the future leaders of our territory so that they will be able to lead with purpose, vision and a spirit of excellence.
Madame Speaker, the Government of the Virgin Islands allocated $50,000 each year for the programme and I am pleased to advise that the amount has increased to $75,000 in 2015. From these funds a minimum of two young persons from each category will be given the financial support to attend and participate in substantive training and enrichment experiences during the summer vacation.
A selection committee of 9 members was set up Madame Speaker, representing a cross-section of the Virgin Islands community, including leaders from the Sister Islands in April 2013 to go through the applications and make recommendations to the Minister. The members are: Arthur Selwood, Chairman; Clennell Vanterpool, Virgin Gorda; Rupert Vanterpool, Virgin Gorda; Aubrey Levons, Anegada;
Jessica Callwood – Jost Van Dyke, Paul Hewlett, Heather Butcher, Elecia Todman, Reuben Vanterpool- all from Tortola
Representatives from the Virgin Islands Emerging Fellow Award committee Madame Speaker advertised and promoted the award in all of the secondary schools in the territory during the Months of November and December 2014.
Applications should be submitted by March 16th in any given year and should be submitted to the Ministry of Education & Culture with the title Emerging Fellow Awards, and to the attention of Desk Officer, Lorna Stevens. The committee will review submissions between March 17th - 27th and announce the recipients no later than March 30th.
The criteria, application form and all of the instructions can be obtained from Ms Lorna Stevens at the Ministry of Education, the principals of the secondary schools or any member of the Committee.
To date Madame Speaker, we have exposed over 16 young people at top rated institutions in the world to hone their craft – institutions such as Interlochen Summer Arts Camp, Phi Theta Kappa’s Honours Institute, the Global Young Leaders Conference, Summer Squash Camp at Yale University, Berkley University Summer Music Camp, American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Columbia University and University of Los Angeles.
Madame Speaker, We are proud of the accomplishments of these young people thus far and look forward to them achieving greater things as they continue to excel. The Emerging Fellow Award is an opportunity for the young people to hone their skills and gain valuable experience as they get ready to take their places here at home and help in the development of the Virgin Islands. I look forward to seeing many more youngsters taking advantage of this opportunity. The Government, Madame Speaker remains committed to ensuring that our people excel and create a culture of excellence for themselves, and by extension, the Virgin Islands.
Thank you Madame Speaker.