Fedrick Dacres seen here with his mother and members of the Kiwanis Club of Kingston, as he accepted his Award for Excellence in Sport in 2011.
This is an original programme from the Kiwanis Club of Kingston, geared towards Identifying and recognizing young persons between the ages of 13 and 25 years who have achieved excellence in the areas of Leadership, Academics, Sports or the Arts and there is also a special category for Bravery. Excellence is defined by the quality of the achievement and the impact it has had at the school, the community or the national level.
This project began in the administrative year 1997-1998 and is the brainchild of Past Director David Hall under the aegis of the Youth Services Committee, and he continues to be the driving force behind its implementation. The initiative was borne out of a concern of the Kiwanis Club of Kingston that many youngsters had lost hope in the future and in their ability to become the best that they can be. This project was therefore geared to provide inspiration to a generation of Jamaican youth under the age of twenty-five (25) years.
In order to be considered for this award, the applicant must be sponsored by either an individual or an organization, who accepts the responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is submitted on the applicant’s behalf. It should also be noted that Cash Awards are made to both the winner and the runner up in each category.
All the Governors General that have held office since the inception of the project beginning with Sir Howard Cooke have endorsed the project and acted as its Patron and the awards are presented at a Luncheon Meeting by the Governor General.
Some of the organizations that have submitted applicants for consideration include the Jamaica 4H Clubs, Jamaica Teachers Association, The Jamaica Combined Cadet Corps, The Girl Guides’ Association, The Boy Scouts Association, The Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association, The Jamaica Football Federation, The Jamaica Netball Association and The Edna Manley College of the Visual & Performing Arts.
Although it has been our intent for this programme to be an annual event, this has not always been possible. We do however plan to have it this year in this our 50th Anniversary year.
Looking back, it may be interesting to recall some of our past winners;
- Luton Shelton 2007 International Footballer
- Simone Forbes 2009 International Netballer who also represented Jamaica in Softball, Volleyball and Football
- Samardo Samuels 2010 Basketball player who was signed by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA
- Fedrick Dacres 2011 The first Jamaican to win a gold medal in Discus at a Global meet which he did at the IAAF World Youth Championships
In the Arts
- Andrew Clarke 2007 Actor, singer, performance poet and aspiring writer who has won a total of 18 Gold, 9 Silver and 1 Bronze medal at JCDC Festival competitions
- Nadje Leslie 2008 Noted violinist and multiple golf medal winner at JCDC Festival competitions and winner of the Junior Instrumental Grand Champion of the World (California 2006)
- Ravindra Ganesh 1998 Achieved four “A” level subjects at age 15 after passing eight subjects at “O” level (Grade 1 in seven of them) at age 13 years
- Kevin Brown 2009 Achieved seven “O” level subjects at Grade 1 and another at Grade 2. Was adjudged joint 10th in the world for his exam results in Mechanical & Geometrical Drawing.
- Shantayae Grant 2010 Sat four CSEC subjects In 4th form passing three at Grade 1 and one at Grade 2; then in 5th form did another eight subjects achieving seven Grade 1 and one Grade 2.
- Jeorghino Lodge 2011 Sat ten CSEC subjects and achieved Grade 1 in all of them.
- Shanique Austin 2010 For her leadership roles in the 4-H Club movement, the ISCF, as Student Council Body President and as a Member of the School Board. She was also a Peer Educator / Counselor and Head Girl.
Special Award – Courage and Perseverance
- Robert Williams 2010 This went beyond our categories but could not be ignored as this young man became blind at age 11 years prior to sitting his GSAT. He then enrolled at the Salvation Army School for the Blind and sat the GSAT exam passing for Jamaica College. He excelled at JC receiving the Danny Williams award for Excellence. After high school he was hospitalized but was awarded a place at the University of the West Indies and graduated with Upper Second Class Honors.
This is a sample of the achievements that this programme was able to unearth and we think there are many more that can be an inspiration to our young people and Jamaicans in general.
The launch of this year’s Youth In Excellence Programme took place on May 27 and applications can now be submitted with the deadline being August 15, 2014. The Awards will be presented by the Governor General in September. There is an application form that will be available on this site as well as the rules governing entry. Applications may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or via post to P. O. Box 510, Kingston 6. The Email address can also be used for enquires.