BASSETERRE, St. Kitts –- Stories of the 25 Most Remarkable Teens were inspirational, impressive and heart-warming, according to Director of Youth Empowerment in St. Kitts, Pierre Liburd.
“These young people are remarkable,” explained Liburd. “They are strong, intelligent, creative, and innovative, they are resilient. I want to commend them for their resilience and all the other qualities that we recognize this evening,” said Liburd, while delivering remarks at the 25 Most Remarkable Teens Ceremony held on November 26 at the Rivers of Living Water Christian Centre at Lime Kiln, Basseterre.
Khaela Hanley, who received the award for “Courage to Overcome,” was an example of persistence. Khaela was bullied in school, which made her feel that she was “ugly, a dunce, and fat.” Her challenges grew even more intense after her mother passed away. Khaela resorted to self-mutilation as a way of escaping the emotional scars. However, school guidance counsellors intervened and the 16-year-old is using music, dancing and singing to overcome the grief and pursue her dreams.
Eighteen-year-old Gregory McGrath, who was honoured in the category, “Coping with Challenges,” also has a touching story. Gregory is brave, resilient and stands up for what is right. It is a remarkable achievement for a young man with autism. Gregory is an accomplished archer, an avid basketball player, skilled musician and a budding artist. Gregory is working to study art and music after graduating.
At 17-years-old, Karyl Woods received an award in the “Writing Category.” She has published books and other literary works on Wattpad and Episode, which are story-telling networks. One of her submissions on Wattpad is ranked 96th out of 139, 000 books published in the Literature Category. Also, her first book on “Episode River of Tears,” is in the top 1,000 books out of 100,000 books in the Romance Category.
Liburd recognized the people who have helped the students along the way, and encouraged them to continue working closely with young people.
“Thanks to each and everybody that has been part of their lives and continue to mould not just them, but their peers and every young person that you encounter,” said Liburd. “I just want to encourage us to continue to be pillars of strength, support and guidance that have been successful in bringing these young persons to positive role models and the positive citizens that they all are and that we all recognize this evening.”
“It is for us to train them to lead us as we would expect to be led,” he said, “to take this country forward to be productive, prosperous, and peaceful;. and all the other great things that we anticipate and hope for it to be. It is in our hands to continue to shape them to take the reins of leadership.”
Liburd thanked the many partners who played an integral role in ensuring that the 25 Most Remarkable Teens event for 2020 was successful, and for supporting and empowering the youth population.
Sixteen-year-old Khaela Hanley uses music, dancing and singing to overcome grief and pursue her dreams. She received the award for “Courage to Overcome.”
Eighteen-year-old Gregory McGrath was awarded for “Coping Positively with Challenges.”
Seventeen-year-old Karyl Woods has published books and other literary works. He received the award in the “Writing Category.”