CAY HILL – It was a royal affair at the 2017 G.I.F.T.E.D. Royalty Awards held at Belair Community Center on Wednesday evening, July 5.
The Royalty Awards is presented by G.I.F.T.E.D. Foundation and is the leading award ceremony honouring youth excellence on St. Maarten. This year, 50 nominees, from 7 high schools were celebrated in grand style. Attendees were decked out in black and gold and the program included an address by Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Silveria Jacobs, with guest performances by Malaika Maxwell and Shawn J.
Surrounded by friends and family, five young women and five young men were dubbed Young Kings and Queens in their respective categories. Each award was presented by a prominent, public figure. Among the presenters were Minister Jacobs, Marvio Cooks, Ambassador Alicia Liverpool, Castel Abraham, Jabari York, Katsiaryna Ozkan, Elaine Cuvalay, Malaika Maxwell and 2015 Young Kings Shakir Peterson and Joshua Bowers.
The Young Kings and Queens awarded in the category of Athletics were: Michele Palella of St. Dominic High and Angelina Percy of Sundial; in the category of Academics, Jaevy Beggs of MAC CSE and Naomi Jankee of St. Maarten Academy. Jean Philip Pierre-Louis and Jodian McDonald both from St. Maarten Academy P.S.V.E. were awarded in the category of Leadership; James Brooks of St. Maarten Academy and Karly Jacobs of St. Maarten Academy P.S.V.E. for Community Service. Ray-Angel Simon and Xochiquetzal Gonzalez-Toro both from Charlotte Brookson Academy were awarded in the category of Expressive Arts.
It was a night to remember for all, in particular for Ifelola Badejo, who was awarded with the 2017 G.I.F.T.E.D. World-CHANGER Award for her outstanding and selfless work in the community.
Earlier that day, President of G.I.F.T.E.D. Lenworth Wilson, Jr. and other board members visited Kyron Mussen, a Community Service nominee of Sundial at the St. Maarten Medical Center. There, Mussen received his certificate, royal medallion and gifts, surrounded by family and friends.
G.I.F.T.E.D. Foundation thanked all participating schools, its partners, special invited guests, presenters, nominees, awardees and volunteers for their continuous support in honouring the youth who are excelling in “our community and motivating them to be positive world changers.”