PHILIPSBURG:— Fifty two young persons were honored at the GIFTED Royalty Awards Ceremony held at the University of St. Martin last Thursday evening, June 30. Nominations for the awards were received from seven high schools for the students they wished to recognize for their outstanding performance in each of five categories. The participating high schools were: St. Maarten Vocational Training School, Milton Peters College, St. Maarten Academy – Academic Section, MAC Comprehensive Secondary, St. Maarten Academy PSVE, Sundial School and Charlotte Brookson Academy of the Performance Arts.
In a black and gold formal affair, the nominees were addressed by the Minister of Education, Youth, Culture, and Sports Affairs, the Hon. Silveria Jacobs. She commended GIFTED Foundation for the work that they have been doing in the community, working with the youth for an improved community. She congratulated the nominees and encouraged them to keep excelling in their different fields. Ms. Faye Arnell of the Department of Youth Affairs acknowledged the original fifty three nominees – recognizing that young people have to be reminded of the good that they possess so even if they make mistakes, they will remember that they can overcome their adversities. Apostle Alicia Liverpool of The David Company raised a standing ovation to the nominees as they were all doing an amazing job, worthy of celebration. She reminded them that they are role models for their peers and that their possession of talents and position of leadership are God-given. The President and Dean of the University also congratulated the honored young people via video recording, encouraging them to pursue even greater heights in their fields and to make their mark on St. Martin and the world.
2015 Young Kings, Shakir Peterson and Oheny Loredent spoke of the impact that this recognition has had on them. Shakir reminded his peers to remain humble in their elevation, as being grounded will remind them of why they were esteemed. Oheny recounted how important it is for the community to know that young people are doing good things and that there is hope for a better future for the country. Topping the votes of judges and the support of the public for the 2016 awards were the following Young Kings: Athletics – Allinton Augustine of St. Maarten Academy; Community Service – Travin Joseph of Sundial School; Expressive Arts – Zacquel Phipps of St. Maarten Academy; Academics – Morency Saint Fleur of Milton Peters; and Leadership – Akyl Arrindell of the St. Maarten Vocational Training School. The Young Queens awarded are: Athletics – Jamaiah Newton-Herbert of St. Maarten Academy; Community Service – Nadricia Liburd of Sundial School; Expressive Arts – Geniquah Thewet of Sundial School; Academics – Stefany Dabrassi of St. Maarten Academy PSVE; and Leadership – Maria Prince of St. Maarten Academy.
Each nominee received a certificate of recognition and a gift from the foundation and sponsors among which is the Princess Juliana International Airport. Additionally, the Young Kings and Young Queens received their trophies and prizes including a gift certificate for a trip for two from Random Wind Charters. The corporate community is encouraged to become partners with GIFTED to give support to these positive youth.
The GIFTED Royalty Awards are aimed at turning the spotlight on the positive things that the youth in our community are doing. GIFTED’s WorldChangers slogan is “Whoever you are, wherever you’re from, whatever you do, you change the world.” Worldchanger t-shirts are available for sale at $15 each while stocks last. The World-Changer T-shirt graphic displays a pair of thumbprints in a heart shape in the background while the foreground shows GIFTED’S signature pair of hands bringing light out of a dark circle. The symbolism of the graphic is that in our own individual ways we can share our light with the world.
G.I.F.T.E.D. means “Going In. Finding Truth. Enlightening Darkness.” The foundation seeks to impact the youth of St. Maarten and the region through providing positive influential social enhancement through music and other platforms by networking with local, regional and international partners. For more information, visit and like their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/GIFTEDLIGHT.
Source: St. Martin News Network
Five Young Kings and Five Young Queens for 2016 GIFTED Royalty Awards