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Dart announces 2021 High School Scholars

Education 10 Aug, 2021 Follow News

Dart CEO Mark VanDevelde, left, along with new Dart Scholars Jade Robinson and Nathan Alston (Photo by Rhian Campbell)

This year’s high school Dart Scholars are Jade Robinson of St. Ignatius High School and Nathan Alston of Cayman Prep and High School.

Selected through a four-round, blind evaluation process that includes Dart leadership and other Caymanian community and business leaders, Jade and Nathan join 2021 William A. Dart Memorial University Scholar Aidan Watler as the most recent additions to the Dart Scholar family.

Dart CEO Mark VanDevelde said Jade and Nathan earned their scholarships through their track records of academic excellence, community involvement, student leadership and dedication to STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – subjects.

Jade, a top performing student at St. Ignatius High School, has consistently attained ‘Honour Roll with Distinction’ and ‘Effort Roll with Distinction’. A talented performance artist, musician and student athlete, Jade has also participated in the Model United Nations and FIRST Robotics Apprenticeship Programme.

At Cayman Prep and High School, Nathan’s top academic performance across all subjects was recognised through multiple Principal’s Awards. A skilled martial artist and musician, Nathan has also participated in Junior Robotics and Model United Nations, and routinely gives back to his community through Key Club and YMCA of the Cayman Islands.

Dart High School Scholars receive a four-year high school scholarship to the school of their choice, guided mentoring with Dart employees through the Minds Inspired Work-X programme and special enrichment experiences designed to expand their view outside the classroom.

Each year, three finalists are recognised for their strong performance in the selection process. This year’s finalists were Solana Ebanks from Cayman International School, Joshua Williams from Cayman Prep and High School, and Pranav Anu from Layman Scott High School.

The scholars are chosen through a blind-selection process designed to remove distinguishing details such as school, age, and gender to keep the identity of the applicants confidential from the selection panel made up of Dart executives and local community leaders. Building objectivity into the selection process eliminates any potential for bias and ensures students are evaluated on merit alone, in keeping with the Dart family value of Meritocracy.

While the Dart Scholar programme celebrates academic excellence, student leadership and community involvement, the application process is designed to be straight forward and efficient.

Dart first offered scholarships in 2012 as a part of its Minds Inspired education programme. As the Minds Inspired offerings expanded, the scholarships were re-branded in 2018 as Dart Scholar. The focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) is rooted in Dart’s belief that these four disciplines are fundamental building blocks for both academic and career success, teaching valuable and transferable skills such as logic and critical thinking, problem solving and the ability to see patterns and relationships.

All Minds Inspired and Dart Scholar activities embody the Dart family’s approach to, and philosophy of, pursuing educational excellence in the STEM sciences.


Executive Quotes

Mark VanDevelde, Dart Chief Executive Officer: “Our Dart Scholar programme rewards exemplary academic performance and student leadership, providing opportunities that foster the next generation of Caymanian leaders. Jade and Nathan have been consistently recognised for their scholastic achievements, all while balancing school with volunteerism and work experience. Through years of hard work, Jade and Nathan have deservedly earned this scholarship."

Glenda McTaggart, Dart Senior Manager Education Programmes: “Dart Scholar is designed to recognise and support students we expect will become leaders of the future. We are proud to count several former Scholars among our current staff complement and follow with anticipation the educational journeys that our current Scholars are on. The process to apply to be a Dart Scholar is easy and straightforward for students to complete.”

2021 Dart Scholar Jade Robinson: “Being awarded the Dart High School Scholarship is a tremendous honor and I am proud and extremely grateful to join the Dart family. Becoming a scholar has definitely shown me that all of the late nights and hard work have paid off and has encouraged me to continue to excel in my studies. I am looking forward to the mentorship program as well as the variety of enrichment activities the scholarship provides. I know that so many opportunities and doors have been opened for me and I am excited for the future. After I graduate high school, I hope to study environmental law or pursue a career in structural engineering.”

2021 Dart Scholar Nathan Alston: “Earning the scholarship to me means that all my efforts paid off. It also gives me a higher sense of responsibility and accountability to maintain the honour of being a Dart Scholar. I hope to excel in my future education, and although I’m not sure what I would like to study, I hope that, through the interesting and diverse opportunities provided, I can narrow down my university major. I hope to be able to incorporate different interests of mine into my future career and to become a positive influence through it.”

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