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Some 31 young persons and youth groups have been nominated for the Prime Minister’s Youth Awards for Excellence, which will be presented on December 2 at Emancipation Park in Kingston.
Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, will make the presentations at the ceremony, which will commence at 5:00 p.m. Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Professor Sir Kenneth Hall, heads the list of officials expected to attend. The nominees are as follows: Shermaine Williams, Brandon Wilson and Carrie Russell in the category of Sports; Rashid Hall, Stephen Williams, Rackell Wilson and Keisha McFarlane in the category of Youth in Service; Brandon Allwood, Keresa Arnold, Horace Mills and Tashena Whyte for Journalism; Jomain McKenzie, Jamaica Youth Theatre, Oneil Peart, Laura Anne Fung for Arts and Culture; Opal Donaldson, Christopher Wilks, Vanessa Tennant, Donnette Wright, Andrew Gordon, Tamara Scarlett, John Clarke, Kevon Rhiney and Rohan Hall for Academics; Tamian Beckford, Gavin Powell and Andrew Francis for Leadership; Felicia Blake and Stephen McGregor for Entrepreneurship; Adishaine Playfair for Agriculture; and the Imagine Cup Advance Developers in the area of International Achievement.
“We do not have a set number of who will receive awards but oftentimes, we can give one per category or a number of them per category,” explained Andrene Blackwin, Manager of Operation Phoenix at the National Centre for Youth Development.
“Selection is based on who the committee (National Youth Awards Selection Committee) believes is deserving of it. For instance, this year, we have nine persons nominated in academics and if nine of them met the criteria and were deemed absolutely excellent then, we could give nine awards for academics,” Ms. Blackwin elaborated.
As for ceremony, a number of contemporary acts are slated to perform including Assassin, Etana, Jodi-Ann Pantry, Romain Virgo and Tivoli Dance Group.
Prime Minister’s Youth Awards for Excellence was introduced in 1998 to recognize young people, who have excelled and contributed to national development and to give them a platform to showcase their achievements in various fields.
The award ceremony, which is combined with the Jamaican Youth in Concert, is the culmination of National Youth Month activities. A total of 63 awards have been presented since 1998.