SINT MAARTEN (HARBOUR VIEW) - His Excellency, Governor, drs. E.B. Holiday, hosted the second annual Governor’s Youth Awards For Excellence on Thursday June 24, 2021, at the Belair Community Center.
During the awards ceremony Governor Holiday presented the 2021 Governor’s Youth Award For Excellence to:
- Faith Peterson, co-recipient in the category Arts;
- Tefari Prevoo Francisco, co-recipient in the category Arts; and
- Jamie Lynch, recipient in the category Academics;
L to R: His Excellency Governor drs. Eugene Holiday and Faith Peterson.
Faith Peterson and Tefari Prevoo Francisco were selected as co-recipients of the Governor’s Youth Award for Excellence in arts. Faith Peterson is a young lady who was introduced to the art form of dance at the age of 3. She is a gifted and talented dancer, gymnast/acrobat, and singer, who, through her consistent work ethic has arrived at this pinnacle in her young life. Faith is “a triple threat”, which for the laymen simply mean she is equally gifted in acting, singing, and dancing, as well as circus arts. She is a true example of and proponent for what hard work and commitment to excellence delivers.
L to R: His Excellency Governor drs. Eugene Holiday and Tefari Francisco
Tefari Prevoo Francisco started selling jewelry at the age of nine to pay for her violin lessons. So began the journey, which at the age of 14, in five years, has created the result that celebrates excellence as an artist. Undaunted and steadfast from her first fundraising efforts at age nine to present, to her first performance at age of 11 in front of 60 persons, and to the gargantuan stage of the Heineken Regatta, this vanguard for music has continued her stride toward excellence in her craft.
L to R: His Excellency Governor drs. Eugene Holiday and Jamie Lynch.
Jamie Lynch was selected as the recipient of the Governor’s Youth Award for Excellence in Academics. She is a young lady who has her mind set on excelling in every aspect of her life. In 2016 while the attending Methodist Agogic Center she scored in the 98th percentile on the Foundation Based Examination and was in the top 5 students of the 526 who sat the exam. At Learning Unlimited she continued to excel and maintained a weighted GPA of above 4.0. To complement her academic performance, she joined a public speaking class and now as a member of the Sint Maarten Youth Parliament she organizes the debates.
The awards ceremony took place before an audience of 30 invited guests as well as online viewers and was guided by Mistress of Ceremony Mrs. Fabiana Vanterpool-Arnell. The awards ceremony consisted of among others, the official opening by His Excellency, Governor Holiday, beautiful musical tributes to the 2021 awardees and their parents and teachers and the presentation of the awards. Tamillia Chance rendered the song Rise Up as well as her own single “Do me”, Shanica Chance sang “You Raise Me Up” and Cherrieanne Dangleben York performed “One moment in time” on steep pan.
In delivering his opening address Governor Holiday stated: “As your hosts, Marie-Louise and I, are pleased to recognize and share the achievements of several of our outstanding youths with you. The recipients are outstanding youths who in their respective fields have made it a habit to be excellent.
We are as a result here to acknowledge and celebrate their excellence. We are doing so because we all agree that our children are our future. It is therefore our obligation to teach, guide and invest in them to be the very best they can be. The Governor’s Youth Award for Excellence is as a result aimed at encouraging young persons to always strive for excellence. The Award therefore recognizes youths, ages 13 through 19, who have excelled in academics, sports, arts, environmental protection, or community service.
The Governor’s Youth Award for Excellence recognizes excellence as a mindset, as a habit, in that it seeks to capture the candidates’:
- skills in terms of their consistent outstanding achievements in their specific field of interest;
- their dedication to their education;
- their special qualities in terms of their determination, respect for peers and teachers; and
- their potential to inspire.”
This year a total of 20 nominations were received. All 20 candidates went through a thorough evaluation by the distinguished panel of judges on the Governor’s Youth Awards For Excellence Evaluation Committee: Mrs. Bryson-Pantophlet (Chair) Ms. Cassandra Janssen (Secretary), Dr. Rolinda Carter, Mr. Maikel Cornet, Ms. Clara Reyes and Mr. Rueben Thompson. Based on the judges scoring there were five finalists from the 20 nominees. No finalists were selected for the categories: sports, environmental protection, or community service.
Governor Holiday thanked the panel of judges for evaluating and scoring each nominee. He also extended his appreciation to the evaluation committee members and to his staff who worked tirelessly to organize and make the second annual Governor’s Youth Awards for Excellence possible.
Having reviewed the nominations of the finalists Governor Holiday concluded that it is evident that they have put in a lot of hard work and received a lot of support from their community. He therefore applauded the parents, teachers, and nominators on their efforts to develop and nurture the young finalists.
Addressing the finalists Governor Holiday Stated: “I hereby congratulate you and I trust that this award ceremony will inspire you to continue to strive for excellence and to be a role model for your peers. And as you continue to strive for excellence, I wish to leave you with these words from my mother and from the great philosopher Aristotle. My mother inspired me to be the best that I could be. She often told me: “work for it and you can be anything you want to be”. She was right. And it was the great philosopher Aristotle who reminded us, and I quote: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Unquote. With that I advise all to work for what you want and make it a habit to be excellent. I repeat: work for what you want and make it a habit to be excellent.”
Present at the ceremony were the minister of Education, Culture Youth and Sports, drs. R. Samuel and Minister of Public Health, Social Affairs and Labour, Mr. O. Ottley. Also present at the ceremony were the recipients of the 2020 Governor’s Youth Awards for Excellence, Nigel Adriana, Riya Baharani and Sara Bharwani as guests of honor. Due to obligations overseas Ray-Angel Boasman could not be present.