>PHILIPSBURG–For the first time in over 15 years, St. Maarten has two finalists in both categories of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Children’s Environmental Poster Competition.
Shannaz Horne, a 16-year-old student of the Charlotte Brookson Academy, won first prize in the Senior Division of the annually held FCCA poster competition, while Tefari Prevoo Francisco of the Sister Regina Primary School placed third in the Junior Division.
Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport & Telecommunication the Honorable Stuart Johnson says he is very proud as a former educator of the continued exceptional effort that students from St. Maarten put forward at these competitions.
As the overall winner in her category, Shannaz received a cash scholarship of USD$3000, and her school received the same. Tefari received a cash scholarship of USD$1000, and her school received the same.
The St. Maarten Tourist Bureau and the FCCA organized a special luncheon on board the Royal Princess Cruise ship on Wednesday this week during which Shannaz and Tefari received their prizes.
The judges for this year’s competition had the arduous task of selecting winners from over 17 Caribbean countries, who this year each produced many “exceptional, creative and artistic pieces.”
Each poster entry received “exemplified Caribbean excellence” recognition for their depiction of how we can preserve the environment.
The FCCA poster competition is organized annually as part of its Tourism awareness activities. This year’s theme was “Weathering the storm: disaster preparation for my destination.” The competition seeks to promote and stimulate environmental awareness among students. Its primary goal is to educate the younger generation about the importance of environmental protection. Another benefit of the event is that it shows the correlation between Tourism and the Environment.
Johnson was on hand for the presentation to the local winners. He expressed hope that with the FCCA’s annual competition, students and residents, in general, will gain an even greater appreciation of the economic and environmental benefits of keeping St. Maarten clean.
“As we continue to build an environmentally and economically sustainable St. Maarten, it must be clear that everyone has a role to play. I trust that Shannaz and Tefari’s achievement encourages them to continue pursuing excellence and inspires others to follow their lead,” said Johnson.
The Ministry of TEATT extends congratulations to the winners and to the art teachers of the Charlotte Brookson Academy and the Sister Regina School.