PHILIPSBURG – G.I.F.T.E.D. Foundation is hosting its 2nd annual youth awards ceremony on June 30, in collaboration with the University of St. Martin (USM), entitled the GIFTED Royalty Awards.
Last year, G.I.F.T.E.D. celebrated 11 nominees and honoured 5 young men as Young Kings in the categories of Academics, Athletics, Community Service, Leadership and Expressive Arts.
This year, the foundation will be honouring a young man and woman in each of these categories as Young Kings and Young Queens. Nominations were received from seven high schools for the students they wish to recognize for their outstanding performance in each category.
The participating high schools are: 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.
The nominees per category from the among the high schools are: Athletics – Okefa Benfield, Wilfred Chittick, Tyrell Pantophlet, Allinton Augustine, Malik Odonoghue, Jamaiah Newton-Herbert, Angelina Percy, Stanley Holaman, Joline Williams, and Kai Piscione; Community Service – Davidson Charles, Antonia Joseph, Ria Khudan, Brandon Blake, Darwin Pena Ventura, Jenisque Violenes, Nadricia Liburd, Travin Joseph, Anthonio Voglezon, Selena Valrose, and Audrey Richardson; Expressive Arts – Carina Alcin, Zacquel Phipps, Rouvelta Gumbs, Jennifer Dinzey, Sion Thomas, Geniquah Thewet, Manukiell Edwards, Leonel Alexandre, Mahealeney Kemper, and Lisa Marie Henry; Academics – Stefany Dabrassi, Oreisha Raymond, Mawoli King, Anaya Van Heyningen, Terrelle Thomas, Habeebullaah Mohammed, Candace Ford, Cecilia Richardson, Odnel Gaspard, Morency Saint Fleur, Xochiquetzal Gonzales-Toro, and Ray-Angel Boasman; Leadership – Shemar Abdul-Hamid, Akyl Arrindell, Maria Prince, Annesia Edwards, Marie Lucy Vital, Dayanara Abad, Julio Valencia Burgos, Ketiskia Hodge, and Elston Harregan.
The photos and profiles of the nominees were posted to the GIFTED page where the public was able to show their support for the students by clicking “Like” and by sharing the photo. Public support accounts for 40 percent of the final score. The other 60 percent was based on the total score from a panel of judges. At the awards ceremony, all nominees will be recognized and the winners will receive their prizes.
The GIFTED Royalty Awards are aimed at turning the spotlight on the positive things that the youth in the community are doing. Too often, the minority who commit crimes receive negative publicity and cast a wrong perception on the future generation.
As positive role models excelling in their areas, these young people between the ages of 13 to 20 years old are being celebrated as Worldchangers. President of GIFTED Lenworth Wilson Jr. said, “We believe that whoever you are, wherever you’re from, whatever you do, you change the world. With every choice and subsequent action we all change the world for the better or the worse. The choice is yours.”
Worldchanger t-shirts are available for sale at $15 each while stocks last. The Worldchanger 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 each individual way, one can share their light with the world.
Already, GIFTED and the team of gospel artistes from the Caribbean Gospel Music Tour have been touring secondary and primary schools, giving motivational talks and inspiration to the youth.
On Friday, July 1, there will be a free Worldchangers concert held at the Port de Plaisance tent at 7:00pm featuring artistes of Curtis Jordan’s CGMT – Beyond Borders, and on Saturday, July 2, a music network and trade show for local and regional talent will be held at USM.
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. For Worldchanger t-shirts and/or more details call 524-3680 or 587-7533.