PHILIPSBURG – Some 52 young persons were honored at the GIFTED Royalty Awards Ceremony held at the University of St. Martin (USM0 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 Minister of Education, Youth, Culture, and Sports Silveria Jacobs. She commended GIFTED Foundation for the work they have been doing by working with the youth for an improved community. She congratulated the nominees and encouraged them to keep excelling in their different fields.
Faye Arnell of the Department of Youth Affairs acknowledged the original 53 nominees and recognized 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 adversity.
Apostle Alicia Liverpool of The David Company raised a standing ovation to the nominees. She reminded them that they are role models for their peers, and their talents and position of leadership are God-given. President and Dean of USM also congratulated the young people via video recording, encouraging them to pursue greater heights in their fields and to make their mark on St. Maarten and the world.
2015 Young Kings: Shakir Peterson and Oheny Loredent spoke of the impact that this recognition has had on them. Peterson reminded his peers to remain humble in their elevation, as being grounded will remind them of why they were esteemed. Loredent recounted how important it is for the community to know that young people are doing good things and there is hope for a better future for the country.
Topping the votes of judges and support of the public were: 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 were: 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, a gift from the foundation and sponsors among which was Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA). 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 youth.
The GIFTED Royalty Awards are aimed at turning the spotlight on the positive things that youth in the 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 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.
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.
Photo caption: Lenworth Wilson Jr, president of GIFTED (not in the picture), presents the 2016 GIFTED Royalty Awardees. From left: Geniquah Thewet, Nadricia Liburd, Travin Joseph, Akyl Arrindell, Maria Prince, Jamaiah Newton-Herbert, and Morency St. Fleur. Absent from photo are Zacquel Phipps, Allinton Augustine, and Stefany Dabrassi.