On 17 March, eight students who excel in various areas were presented as the 2014 recipients of Government’s Emerging Fellows Award.
The Emerging Fellows Award is a competitive national prize that provides a funding opportunity for young people in the Virgin Islands between the ages of 10 and 20 who show exceptional promise to achieve in academics, arts and sports.
This award provides fellows with the opportunity to enhance their skills and develop their craft through advanced training, exposure and mentorships. Government committed $50,000 a year to this initiative since 2013. In 2012 the Territory’s first fellows attended the Olympic Games in London. In 2013, six fellowships were awarded.
Prior to announcing the names of the 2014 awardees Minister Myron Walwyn told the gathering: “With us today we have our junior chef that will one day put the Virgin Islands on the international culinary scene just as our very own Neil Cline once did. We have a potential Oscar winner, a potential Julliard trained dancer in our midst, a competitive squash player who has already shown that she can handle regional competition and an aspiring journalist.”
Hon. Walwyn explained that some of the winners faced local competition, and some even have faced regional and international competition, but have proven that they are at the top of their game.
“Emerging Fellows, past and present, I remind you of the investment this entire community is making in your success. While I do not want to pressure you all, I remind you that as fellows, through this national award, you are ambassadors of the Virgin Islands. As such, we expect many great things from you. We expect you to be model students for young people in this community and we expect you to accept the rights and responsibilities of the title Virgin Islands Emerging Fellow,” the Minister said.
The 2014 Emerging Fellows are: Tia-Racquel Modeste, a fourth year student at Bregado Flax Educational Centre – she will be utilising this fellowship to attend Interlochen Arts Academy to study Art; Shane Liburd – an Assistant Drama teacher at Elmore Stoutt High School will be attending the American Academy of Dramatic Art; Ariq Flax-Charles – a fifth year student at Bregado Flax Educational Centre, who is also the Territory’s junior chef, will be undertaking a culinary career exploration at Jonson and Wales University in North Miami; Nia Douglas, a fourth year student at CEDAR International School who has an interest in pursuing a career in journalism will be attending Columbia University’s Summer Programme for high school students; Tahj Malone, who is presently attending Montverde Academy will be attending the Montverde Academy Invitational Tournament in Florida this summer for basketball training; Kerstin Gordon, a fifth year student at CEDAR International School will be participating in the Elm City Sports Club Summer Squash Camp at Yale University; Sara Smith, a fourth year student at St George’s Primary School will be studying dance at the University of Los Angeles; and Tariq Maduro, a fifth year student at Elmore Stoutt High School will be attending Berkeley University’s Five Week Summer Performance Programme to study music.