Students encouraged to pursue excellence

| 07/07/2015
Cayman News Service

Tameka Cox receives her award from Lloyd Barker at her graduation from St Ignatius

(CNS): The second annual “Pursuit of Excellence” awards have been presented to two high school students in recognition of their efforts in both the classroom and the community. Past “Proud of Them” recipient Lloyd Barker inaugurated this award scheme last year to motivate and empower young people by acknowledging their good works and commitment to excellence.

Tameka Cox, 15, who graduated this year from St Ignatius Catholic School, and Althea Miller, who has just finished year 11 at Cayman Academy, were named the two recipients of the award.

Barker, who was also the 2012 recipient of the “Yentel McGaw Youth Community Excellence Award”, said he believes “a positive and public recognition such as this one can surely encourage students to do better or to continue doing well”.

In addition to her academic accomplishments, Tameka has excelled in behaviour, presentation and effort, while also taking the time to be involved in charitable activities for her school and the community. She has been a member of the choir, Key Club and the School Council. Tameka is also a very committed member of the Karate Club, earning a second-degree black belt.

St. Ignatius has an “Effort Honour Roll”, which is awarded every term to those students who have made excellent or good effort throughout the term in all their subjects. In the final ceremony for the year, the school presents a special “Excellence in Effort” award, to students who have had more than 85 percent of their grades in the excellent category; Tameka has earned this award every year in high school. In the last four academic assessments, she was also named to the “Effort Honour Roll with Distinction”.

Tameka said it was an honour to be name a “Pursuit of Excellence” recipient, adding, “An award like this is important, as it highlights positive achievements and attributes of young people and serves as an inspiration to others.”

She said she will continue her efforts to achieve her goals, to show other young people that “with hard work, commitment, and a positive attitude, our dreams will become a reality”.

Cayman News Service

Althea Miller with her award

After excelling during her primary school years, Althea continued her good work in high school, receiving certificates for outstanding scholastic achievement for maintaining grades of 90-100 percent for the entire school year. She earned awards for most improved in mathematics, science, social studies, bible, English and Spanish. She has also won eight National Children’s Festival of the Arts gold and three bronze awards, both for singing and playing the violin.

Very active in the Seventh-day Adventist Church and her community, she directs the Gideon Pathfinder Choir and takes part in a variety of service projects including house painting, visiting the Pines Retirement Home and Frances Bodden Girls Home, and distributing fruit baskets to the elderly.

She also represents the Cayman Islands Conference as the drill and march leader for events like National Heroes Day and Remembrance Day.

Althea, who wants to study to become a pharmacist, said the award will encourage her in her efforts, adding, “It will open many doors as I continue to do my best in academics and serve my community.”

Her message to other young people is to set their goals high. “As my best friend always told me, if you say the sky is the limit, you are already limiting yourself…[G]o beyond the stars and reach beyond the galaxy. Never stop reaching until you’ve reached your goal, and never stop striving for excellence.”


Category: Education, Youth

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