As is customary, at the Clifton Hunter High School Graduation last Thursday night, a plethora of awards was handed out. There were subject awards, awards for citizenship, and other academic achievements. The final award handed out, however, was perhaps the one that holds the most prestige.
The Student of the Year is chosen based on four categories: Academics, Leadership, Extra-curricular Involvement, and Community Service. This year, nine students were considered for the award. After all was said and done, and each candidate considered, the choice was ready to be announced on graduation night.
On Thursday night, when the awardee's list of accomplishments was read out, it was like a shopping list of worthwhile attributes. These ranged from a spot at the Global Young Leaders Conference, the Rotary Youth Leadership Award, and a trip to the Bali Asia International Model United Nations Conference.
This year's recipient also represented Cayman in the Caribbean Junior Duelling Challenge (Culinary) in Barbados. He was vice-captain for his academy track team, and director of the Cayman Islands Youth Assembly. He represented the Cayman Islands in the Annual Caribbean Student Colloquium held in New York, and he is a current host of the Youth Flex Radio Show. Additionally, this individual is a Proud of Them awardee, and a National Youth Cook-off Champion. Academics were not neglected, either because with his examination results he tallied 11 passes at CSEC Examinations.
The place erupted with applause as Tarek Francis was announced as the winner. “I am very happy and surprised to get this award” Tarek remarked. “I want to thank my family, and my teachers, and my friends for their support. I hope that by winning this award, it makes other students want to do the same thing.”
Cayman has a long history of producing hardworking, ambitious, high-achieving, citizens. Tarek Francis, the 2019 CHHS Student of the Year, is another example of that tradition. One thing is for sure, the future is bright in the Cayman Islands.