Little did university student, Kara John, know that she would be awarded an internship at the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) local office as her prize for winning the multilateral institution’s Caribbean essay competition.
She was announced the winner by IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, during a students forum at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Campus in St. Andrew on November 17.
The runners-up were Immaculate Conception High School student, Tajha Winkle; and UWI students Wendel Ivey, Shannique Rhoden and Keenan Falconer.
The competition, which was held under the theme ‘Inclusive and Resilient Growth in the Caribbean’, was launched in early October and open to young nationals aged 18 to 25 from the English-speaking Caribbean and Haiti.
It was aimed at providing young people with the opportunity to articulate their views on how their welfare and that of the general region can be improved.
Ms. John, who studies law at the UWI’s Cave Hill Campus in Barbados, tells JIS News that she entered the competition because she saw where it could serve to advance her career plans.
“I like development, so I hope to one day pursue a Master’s Degree in Development Studies or move on to international law. I am concerned about development in the Caribbean and the world as a whole, (and) there are ways in which (it) can help to develop the nations in the regions,” she says.
Ms. John, who is Trinidadian, notes that she has plans to work for an organisation such as the IMF, and views the internship opportunity as a stepping stone towards accomplishing that.
She is of the view that the IMF endeavours to assist small island developing states (SIDS) like those in the Caribbean with economic development, despite many of the Fund’s critics.
“They aim to make our societies economically better, especially the policies that they help to put in place, as well as with the other (forms of assistance) that they (offer),” Ms. John adds.
In her remarks at the forum, Ms. Lagarde said many of the competition’s entrants demonstrated “immense economic understanding coupled with a deeply rooted understanding of the Caribbean society”.
“They (students) took into account external shocks and also looked at entrenched factors… specific to the Caribbean that prevent growth from really flourishing and being of sustainable quality,” she said.
Ms. Lagarde said Kara John’s essay was “top-notch”, as it addressed “a lack of social justice, lack of political unity in the region and a linear approach to development as the critical bottlenecks to growth”.
Additionally, the Managing Director sad the competition’s judges “were most impressed by the essay’s quality”.
Ms. Lagarde also addressed issues relating to the IMF’s role in improving the standard of living in countries with which it partners; the role of the private sector in providing jobs and public-sector reform.
Caribbean and Latin American Students' Environmental Awareness Awarded by FCCA Foundation
Pembroke Pines, FL (June 21, 2016) - The FCCA Foundation has again rewarded the efforts of students and schools throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, with nearly $25,000 awarded to children and schools from 12 destinationsparticipating in the annual FCCA Foundation's Environmental Poster Competition.
"I cannot be prouder to benefit the efforts of the talented and dedicated students who participated in this year's FCCA Foundation Environmental Poster Competition," said Michele Paige, president, FCCA. "Protecting the environment is a joint effort for us all, and this is an opportunity to spur future generations to focus on the world's and their futures, while also benefitting their futures through donations to them and their schools."
Each year, the competition prompts students to create a poster depicting ways to protect the environment and promote awareness in their country. This year's contest featured finalists from 12 Caribbean and Latin American destinations ranging from juniors (ages 12 and younger) to seniors (13-16).
Though all participating students learned a valuable lesson, the finalists and first- to third-place winners took home a prize to and for their country. First-place winners earned a $3,000 scholarship for themselves, along with an equal donation for their schools to purchase art supplies; second-place winners and schools received $1,500 each; third-place winners and schools were awarded $1,000 each; and all finalists and schools received $200 each.
Dantia Welcome of Corinaldi Avenue Primary School in Jamaica took the junior division gold for "Reduce, Recycle, Renew the Caribbean," which showcased how to make the Caribbean and world a better place by planting trees, practicing sustainable development, protecting the natural habitat and renewing energy.
Cherise Blanche of St. Andrew's Anglican Secondary in Grenada won the senior division for creatively showing ways to protect the environment by turning discarded items like tires and cardboard into planters and storage containers in "Eliminate the Trash, Embrace the Treasure."
Other winners included Tyra Abell from the Cayman Islands, taking second in the junior division; Otisha Nichols from St. Vincent, winning second in the senior division; Daniel Peraza from Belize, collecting third in the junior division; and Ping Ling Len from St. Maarten, placing third in the senior division.
About the FCCA Foundation
The FCCA Foundation provides a tangible mechanism for the cruise industry to fund a range of humanitarian causes in Caribbean and Latin American destinations. Since its establishment in 1993, the Foundation has benefited thousands of citizens by providing funding and countless hours to causes and charities throughout the regions. In addition to assisting deserving institutions like charities and hospitals and aiding during crises like natural disasters, the Foundation executes annual projects, including the Holiday Gift Project, which delivers thousands of presents and smiles to underprivileged children during the holiday season, and poster and essay competitions to award students and schools.
The FCCA is a not-for-profit trade organization composed of 19 Member Lines operating over 100 vessels in Floridian, Caribbean and Latin American waters. Created in 1972, the FCCA’s mandate is to provide a forum for discussion on tourism development, ports, safety, security, and other cruise industry issue and to develop bilateral relationships with destinations’ private and public sectors. By fostering an understanding of the cruise industry and its operating practices, the FCCA works with governments, ports and private sector representatives to maximize cruise passenger, crew and cruise line spending, as well as enhance the destination experience and increase the amount of cruise passengers returning as stay-over visitors. For more information, visit F-CCA.com, the FCCA on Facebook, and @FCCAupdates on Twitter.