BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — Stories of young people overcoming health challenges, dominating in the calypso field, helping community residents, and achieving against difficult odds were just some of the stories that tugged at the heartstrings of persons who shared in the 25 Most Remarkable Teens in St. Kitts and Nevis award ceremony on Thursday, November 26.
“This evening is testimony that regardless of the circumstances, the young people of St. Kitts and Nevis possess the creativity, innovation and resilience, not only to make a difference but to effect needed change in the face of adversities,” said Minister of Youth, the Honourable Jonel Powell.
The young people honoured at last evening’s ceremony, which took the form of a Special Sitting of the National Assembly, were as follows Kadeisjah Egen for School Pride; Tijuanique Morton for Sports; Genaiah Browne for Academics; Mariqa Cumbermatch for Technology; Julian Francis for Volunteerism; Ayddan Tuckett for Culinary Arts; Teyra Penny for Coping Positively with Challenges, and Keijarie Huggins for Spirit of Hope.
Also recognized were Karyl Woods for Writing; Ahjania Battice for Personal Decision to Change; Nykeisha Henry for Environmentalism; Elyse Thomas for Youth Activism; Taina French for Volunteerism; Ajane Bristol for Dance; Danrick Robinson for Scholar-Athlete; Mauriel Knight for Leadership, and Gregory McGrath for Coping Positively with Challenges. Awards were also presented to Vanessa Simon for Courage to Overcome; Sientanicia Thomas, Roddena DaCosta, and Maleah Erskine for Academics; Terron Webb for Music; Shai-Ann Tyson for Most Promising; Khaela Henry for Courage to Overcome, and Devoncya Clarke for Spiritual Commitment.
The awards were presented to the honourees by Members of Parliament. However, the ceremony was moved from the National Assembly Chambers to the Rivers of Living Water Christian Centre. This allowed for parents and guardians to attend without breaching COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
Minister of Youth Powell said that the 25 Most Remarkable Teens in St. Kitts and Nevis recognition programme is an integral part of the Ministry of Youth and by extension the government’s commitment to the principles of positive youth development.
“This is an approach to youth development that recognizes the intrinsic value of young people as assets and partners in our country’s development,” said Hon. Powell.
He pointed to Priority Domain #5 of St. Kitts and Nevis Federal Youth Policy 2017-2022. The priority speaks to youth as agents of democracy, development, and nation-building with the goal being to integrate and empower young people fully for genuine youth-led action as trusted partners in the community and national development.
“It is often said that young people are the future of any nation or society. While this is indeed true, it represents merely a portion of a much larger truth,” said Powell. “The reality is and has been that young people constitute the foundation of effective development.”
The 25 Most Remarkable Teens in St. Kitts and Nevis is held annually in November during Youth Month. This year marks the 10th year of this recognition ceremony.