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As the Jamaican Diaspora prepares for the 43rd anniversary of Independence, entries are now being accepted for the sixth annual Independence Essay Competition, which will be a part of celebrations throughout the Florida communities.
Launched by the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) in Miami, the contest is open to all Jamaican children (first and second generation), residing in Florida State. The deadline for participating entries is Friday, July 22. The winner in each category will be presented with a plaque from the Jamaica Consulate General.
The objective is to advance community awareness, while exposing the young people to their Jamaican culture and heritage. Applicants are given the opportunity to reflect on the nation’s history and culture, look at the impact of their roots on their upbringing, positive events that have catapulted Jamaica in the global arena, as they research and prepare compositions.
Consul General to the Southeast USA, Ricardo Allicock told JIS News that “oftentimes important matters of consideration do not take root in individuals until we make the time to write about them”. “It is my sincere hope that the annual essay competition will inspire young Jamaicans to more seriously consider the island of their origin,” he added.
To encourage the children to enter the competition, promotions continue to be done extensively through the media, churches with largely populated Jamaican congregations, local community organizations with Jamaican affiliation, the county schools and through the Consulate based in Miami.
Students can choose from a selection of topics related to the culture and history of Jamaica, as well as looking at issues affecting the Jamaican overseas communities. Some of these include community leadership, entertainment, education, history and culture, geography and national development.
Applicants must be between 5 and 18 years of age and resident in Florida. There are three age categories in the competition – 5 to 8, 9 to 12 and 13 to 18.Interested persons can contact the local JIS office in Miami at 25 Southeast Second Avenue (305-374-8431 ext. 112) or email jismiami@bellsouth.net for details of the competition.
Following are the essay topics:How did Jamaica’s national hero, Sam Sharpe contribute to the ending of slavery in Jamaica?
Write about your two favourite places in Jamaica. These could include historic landmarks, places of recreation, cities, or even your family home. Name them and describe why they are your favourite.
As Jamaicans continue to make outstanding contributions to the country’s national development, identify an outstanding Jamaican resident or group in the Diaspora who has made any form of contribution. Write about this individual or group’s positive impact on that community. (e.g. nurses, teachers, churches, or individuals)
Identify a Jamaican national residing in South Florida or in Jamaica who has made a significant contribution to their community in any chosen field, such as sports, entertainment, education, business or corporate leadership, medicine or legal field, or public service. Explain why you regard this person as outstanding.
Of Jamaica’s seven national heroes, which one do you most admire. By describing their heroism explain why you admire this hero/heroine.
How best you would like to see Jamaicans overseas interact with Jamaicans at home to help in that country’s national development.
Each entrant must choose only one topic to which the response must not exceed two pages and should be double-spaced.
Essays must be mailed to the Jamaica Information Service, 25 SE Second Avenue – Ste 842, Miami, FLA 33131. Each entry must be accompanied by the contestant’s name, address, telephone number and age.