Awardees at the GIFTED awards ceremony last weekend.
PHILIPSBURG–Forty-three students were celebrated for their outstanding work in the categories of athletics, expressive arts, academics, leadership and community service at GIFTED Foundation’s fourth annual “GIFTED Royalty Awards” the Belair Community Centre last weekend. Six local high schools nominated their students for in this year’s event.
One young queen and one young king were selected from among their peers to be crowned King and Queen in each of the five categories.
In Community Service, Brandon Fitzpatrick (St. Dominic High) and Geraldine Benders (St. Maarten Academy) walked away with the trophies.
In Academics, David Beek (St. Maarten Academy) and Yvette Rosario (St. Dominic High) captured the award.
For Athletics, Andres Patrick (Methodist Agogic Centre-Comprehensive Secondary Education (MAC-CSE)) and Judine Francis (MAC-CSE) bagged the prize.
In Expressive Arts, the winners were Tyler Percival (St. Maarten Academy Preparatory Secondary Vocational Education (PSVE)) and Aziza Vanterpool (Milton Peters College).
For Leadership, Jesus Mateo Ortiz Bejarano (St. Maarten Academy) and K’nisha Radjouki (St. Maarten Academy) emerged victorious.
St. Maarten Academy dominated the awards by taking home four trophies in three categories, one of which being Leadership where both King and Queen recipients were from that school. MAC-CSE dominated the area of Athletics. St. Dominic High shared the Community Service and Academics categories. Milton Peters College’s sole nominee also did her school proud by bringing home the trophy in the Expressive Arts category, while the King prize went home to St. Maarten Academy PSVE.
St. Maarten’s very own cultural ambassador Nicole De Weever was celebrated that night. De Weever was awarded GIFTED’s “World Changer” Award for her outstanding contributions to the community. Her years of service and dedication to the improvement of the expressive arts in St. Maarten were recognised, in addition to her spirit of community service and youth development.
De Weever stands as a role model for many youths to follow. In considering the recommendation given by Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Wycliffe Smith, GIFTED Foundation will be exploring the possibility of two additional categories for the next GIFTED Royalty Awards. The categories recommended are Technology and Vocational.
GIFTED Foundation is a non-profit organisation, and as such, donations are encouraged from citizens and corporate sponsors. The foundation stated on Thursday that it continues to highlight young people in the community who are excelling in their fields and encourages the youth to continue striving for excellence.
The profiles of all nominees are posted on GIFTED Foundation’s Facebook page.