Sixth form student of Clarendon College in Chapelton, Francina Francis, has topped 26 other fifth and sixth form students across the island to win the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade’s (MFAFT) 50th anniversary essay competition.
For her victory, Francina will receive a one week all-expense paid trip to New York City, United States, to participate with the Jamaican Youth Delegation, as an observer, during the United Nations General Assembly. Miss Francis and her chaperone will travel to New York on October 7.
Sixth form student at St. Mary High School, Shellice Tyson, who placed second, will benefit from an internship at the MFAFT during the summer of 2013, while sixth former at Immaculate Conception High, St. Andrew, Gabrielle Henry, who placed third, will receive a year's supply of school books.
At a ceremony held on October 2 at the Ministry’s Dominica Drive headquarters in New Kingston, to announce the top places, portfolio Minister, Senator the Hon. AJ Nicholson, congratulated all the students, who had submitted entries.
"Every one of the 27 young persons, once they either put pen to paper or gathered themselves before the computer, once they did that, each one of them was a winner," he stated.
The Minister also commended the sponsors for their contributions, stating that “without them it could not have been done.” He said that donations came from the Jamaica Broilers Group, Jamaica National Building Society, Jamaica Producers Group, Kingston Bookshop and Victoria Mutual Building Society.
"They are colleagues, because all of us have to be a part of the programme, a part of the project of taking Jamaica forward and upward on the social and economic ladder," he said.
Director for Protocol in the Ministry, Ricardo Allicock said the competition, which was launched in May this year, was part of a series of activities by the Ministry in celebration of five decades of service to the government and the people of Jamaica.
He informed that the competition was open to all fifth and sixth formers, who were asked to submit an essay of no more than 1,500 words on one of the following topics: 'What is the role and function of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade in helping Jamaica achieve its development objectives?; 'What do you envision Jamaica achieving, through its diplomatic relations, over the next 50 years of existence?; and ‘Jamaica is a small country with a very big presence in world affairs-myth or reality?'.
The competition was held in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.