- The awards, established in 1998, recognise young Jamaicans who have contributed to the nation’s development and who have excelled in different areas.
- All nominees will be shortlisted, after which they would be interviewed by a panel of judges.
- The selection process is transparent, with representatives from government agencies and youth organisations included on the panel.
Ninety-four outstanding young persons have been nominated for the Prime Minister’s Youth Awards for Excellence.
The awards, established in 1998, recognise young Jamaicans who have contributed to the nation’s development and who have excelled in different areas, including sport, international achievement, academics, leadership, arts and culture, journalism, youth in service, entrepreneur and agriculture.
Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Youth Awards Selection Committee, Ohene Blake, told JIS News that details of the awards ceremony, to be held in March this year, would be provided by Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, at a press conference.
“There are some good applications. One thing is certain – we do not lower the bar, because excellence is kept around the world and you have to be competing and performing at world class level if you are going to be successful,” he said.
Mr. Blake pointed out that all nominees would be shortlisted, after which they would be interviewed by a panel of judges. “A unanimous decision is required of the panel and subsequent to that a recommendation is made to the Prime Minister,” he added.
The Chairman said the selection process is transparent, with representatives from government agencies and youth organisations included on the panel. Additionally, he noted that a representative of the Jamaica Youth Ambassadors programme, National Youth Council, Jamaica Combined Disabilities Association as well as a past awardee are invited to sit on the panel.
Mr. Blake informed that two new categories – Environment and Climate Change; and Science, Technology and Research, will be introduced next year.
Highlighting the importance of the two categories, he said they will help raise awareness about the environment and climate change and encourage young persons to take up careers in those fields.
“Jamaica is a small island state and is very susceptible to the effects of climate change, changing weather patterns as well as the frequency of hurricanes, natural disasters and periods of drought, so there is work to be done,” the Chairman said.
He added that science, technology and research are going to be critical elements if Jamaica is to become a developed State, as outlined in the National Development Plan, Vision 2030.
“Size doesn’t detract from your competitive advantage, so it is about time we focus our young persons on the importance of science and technology and research in our national life,” Mr. Blake added.