- Twenty-three outstanding young Jamaicans and two youth groups are the 2013 recipients of the Prime Minister’s Youth Awards for Excellence.
- The two youth groups are the Youth Organisation for Upliftment and the National Interschool Brigade.
- Prime Minister Simpson Miller noted that poverty, age or health factors are not obstacles to the achievements of the nominees and awardees.
Twenty-three outstanding young Jamaicans and two youth groups are the 2013 recipients of the Prime Minister’s Youth Awards for Excellence.
The two youth groups are the Youth Organisation for Upliftment and the National Interschool Brigade.
The awards ceremony was held on the East Lawns of Jamaica House, Kingston, on April 6, under the theme: ‘Celebrating Jamaican Youth…the Courage of Perseverance’.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, who was joined on stage by the Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, presented the awards.
Earlier in her address to the large gathering, the Prime Minister said that she was inspired by the successes and achievements of the young awardees and nominees.
“This evening, I celebrate your triumph and successes, and remind you of your awesome possibilities and potential,” she said.
Mrs. Simpson Miller noted that poverty, age or health factors are not obstacles to the achievements of the nominees and awardees.
“Those of you who have demonstrated that growing up materially poor does not mean that you are poor in ambition or courage, are living examples and I commend you,” she added.
Citing the goals of the national development plan – Vision 2030 Jamaica – the Prime Minister said the nominees “serve as fitting examples of what we hope will be common place among our young people by 2030.”
“In our awardees we find some of the finest examples of what all our young people can become when they apply themselves with courage, discipline and dedication to the achievement of their God given potential,” she noted.
Meanwhile, Minister Hanna said the 41 nominees only represented a “tiny fraction” of the large number of successful young people in Jamaica.
“You are all symbols of hope and shining examples of what is possible when ambition meets determination. As your Minister, I am proud to celebrate your achievement,” she added.
Among the awardees was 18 year-old Javon Francis who won a silver medal in the 4 x 400 relay at the 2013 World Championships in Russia, where he ran an anchor leg of 44.00 seconds.
Other recipients of the award who excelled in sports and other fields were: Martin Manley, Yvonne Foster, Yanique Thompson,Thristina Harwood, Everett Moseley, Nicholas Wright, Shoyea Gaye Grant, Abigail Allen, Kadeem Wilson, Christena Williams, Theo Smith, Kyisha “Kai” Newman, Farley Artwell, Gavin Samuels, John Powell, Tijani Christian, Amorkard Brown, Terral Christian, Kadesha Croney, Lamar Rowe, Seidg Rowe and Jamilia Crooks.
The programme was interspersed with two-minute video presentations on the 2013 nominees called, ‘Meet the nominees’, as well as similar videos on past awardees titled, ‘Where are they now’.
Apart from the speeches and presentations, there were entertaining performances from the Campion College Dance Society, Quilt Performing Arts Company, Silver Bird Steel Band, Verlando Small, Ikaya, Jermaine Edwards and Raging Fyah.
A tribute was also paid to the Prime Minister for her 40 years of service to Jamaica by students and teachers of Waterford Primary School, who did ‘Mek we big up Portia’.
The award was sponsored by the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund.
The full list of recipients is as follows:
Academics: Abigail Allen
Arts and Culture: Kadeem Wilson
Entrepreneurship: Theo Smith
International Achievement: John Powell
Leadership: Tijani Christian
Sports: Martin Manley
Youth in Service: Seidg Rowe
Youth Work: National Inter-School Brigade
Youth Organisation for Upliftment