An accomplished young dancer, a decorated athlete and a youth mental health activist were among 15 young persons whose achievements and talents were celebrated at the Proud of Them Round 14 awards ceremony on Wednesday, 22 November, under the theme “Inspiration in Action.” This year marked the 10th anniversary of the awards programme, which saw the inclusion of 2 Rising Stars.
The 2023 honouree recipients are Arianna McCoy, Aryana Grant, Ashley Gooden, Carrie McCoy, Chloe McClymont, Davonte Howell, Diana DeMercado, Josani Burke, Keanna Kelly, Manusri Prabhakar, Matthew Bodden, Meisha Thompson, Monina Thompson, Peyton Morrison and Rachell Pascal. The 2 Rising Stars are Che Scott and Mal’yka Morrison.
Each honouree received a cheque for $1,000 and a Proud of Them certificate, and the Rising Stars received $300 each. Honourees are also featured on billboards across the Cayman Islands. This year, the Proud of Them youth awards received sponsorships from Greenlight Re (Silver sponsor), Credit Union (Bronze sponsor), PwC and Cayman First (award sponsors). Silver sponsor Greenlight Re remarked:
“Greenlight Re is honoured to support the Proud of Them campaign which, recognizes the positive contributions made by individuals and provides encouragement for the youth of the Cayman Islands”.
Held at the Kimpton Seafire ballroom by the Youth Services Unit (YSU) of the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Culture & Heritage (MYSCH), the annual recognition gala highlighted the merits of honourees and rising stars in areas of community service, business, academics, sports and culture. Honourees who were unable to attend to receive their awards in person were presented by proxies. Hosting the event were Proud of Them alumna Lloyd Barker and Mariah Tibbetts.
MYSCH Minister, Hon. Isaac Rankine, who gave remarks and presented awards, said:
These achievements aren’t just personal wins; they are a catalyst for other young people to embark on their own success stories. I am pleased to witness the programme actively creating a network of youth who will inspire the next generation to make lasting impacts on our community.
Proud of Them ceremony attendees included family members and Her Excellency the Governor, Mrs Jane Owen; Deputy Governor, Hon. Franz Manderson; Deputy Premier & Minister for Financial Services & Commerce and Investment, Innovation and Social Development, Hon. Andre Ebanks; Minister for Sustainability and Climate Resiliency, Hon. Katherine Ebanks-Wilks; Minister for Youth, Sports, & Heritage, Hon. Isaac Rankine; Minister for Health & Wellness, Hon. Sabrina Turner; and Parliamentary Secretary Mr. Bernie Bush.
The Proud of Them Gala also featured performances by singer Madam Nirosa, poet Latoya Francis and singer Phoenix Singh. The lineup included Proud of Them alum Jovonnie Anglin, the keynote speaker for the evening.
Visit the honouree webpage to learn more about these outstanding young people at www.youthservices.ky/honourees .