Montserrat Secondary School and the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College Capture First Places in 2013 OECS Essay Competition

Nadia receives prize

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS (September 30, 2013) — Nadia Browne of the Montserrat Secondary School and Gernic Soudine, former student of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College in Saint Lucia are the first place winners in the respective categories of the 13th OECS Essay Competition, hosted and sponsored by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).

Nadia emerged winner of the age 14 – 16 category with her essay on the topic: “In today’s economic climate, many school leavers are faced with high unemployment rates within the OECS countries. What can the youth do to turn this situation into opportunities for entrepreneurship?” In response to the question, Nadia suggested that the youth should take advantage of entrepreneurship opportunities provided by the government and organizations; embrace agriculture; start cottage industries; transform theoretical knowledge gained in the classroom into practical every day skills; and collaborate with other young people to develop strong businesses.

Gernic, who has since graduated from school, won the age 17 – 19 category with her discussion on the topic: “Agriculture is a viable booster for OECS economies.” She noted that while agriculture was once a major booster for OECS economies and that sector can still be seen as an important industry, the challenges which farmers in the OECS face, including the erosion of trade preferences and the lack of advanced technology, limit agriculture as a viable booster for OECS economies.

Nadia Browne Gernic Soudine Jael Gumbs

The OECS Essay Competition, which is part of the ECCB’s community outreach programme, is aimed at encouraging critical thinking and raising the awareness of secondary school and college students in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) on issues of economic and social development.

One hundred and thirty-two (132) students, representing schools in the eight ECCU member countries, submitted entries. The essays were assessed for content, soundness of points, logical development, knowledge of the subject, command of language and presentation.

Jael Gumbs of the Washington Archibald High School, St Kitts and Nevis and Ajay Williams of the Saint Lucia Seventh-Day Adventist Academy, Saint Lucia were adjudged second and third place winners respectively in the age 14 – 16 category. Clayticia Daniel and Uta Trish Taylor of the Charlestown Secondary School and Nevis Sixth Form College, St Kitts and Nevis won second and third places respectively in the age 17 – 19 category.

Ajay Williams Clayticia Daniel Uta Trish Taylor

The first place winners in each of the categories will each be awarded a $2,500 cash prize and a grant of $1,500 will be awarded to their respective schools. The students who placed second will receive $1,500 and their schools will be presented with a grant of $1,000; while the third place winners will each receive $1,000 and their schools a grant of $500.

The Charlestown Secondary School and Nevis Sixth Form College will be awarded a grant of $500 for submitting the most entries. Certificates of recognition will also be awarded to students in each category for the essays which did not place among the top three but were adjudged the best in the respective countries.

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