(CNS): Following in the footsteps of her predecessor, the 2015 Young Caymanian Leadership Award (YCLA) recipient, Kellie McGee, is embarking on a year of ambassadorship and mentoring during which she will share her positive and inspiring messages with young people across the Cayman Islands.
Kadi Merren-Pentney, last year’s YCLA winner, spoke to more than 5,000 students during her tenure, demonstrating that the award is both an honour and a responsibility as the recipient serves as a role model for the youth of Cayman.
McGee, who was named the YCLA 2015 recipient at the 15th anniversary of the programme in October, has already started to fill her calendar with speaking engagements and events where she will address children and students on all three islands.
Among her first engagements, McGee spoke to 430 students at Red Bay Primary School during their recent Reading Week activities, and addressed another 625 students at Sir John A. Cumber Primary School on 13 November. McGee has also made many media appearances and was a recent guest on the popular radio show “Youth Flex”.
McGee said she believes in the importance of mentoring. When accepting the YCLA, she said, “To me, there is nothing more humbling than to be given the gift of being a YCLA recipient, to be able to return the gift of mentorship to the youth of Cayman.
“I am a 120% believer that there is a world of potential inside each and every single one of our youth regardless of family circumstance, background, or disability. Sometimes it simply takes that person, that mentor, to help someone realise their potential, and I can’t wait for the journey over the next year.”
A St Ignatius Catholic School graduate, McGee earned her International Baccalaureate diploma from United World College of Southern Africa in Swaziland in 2006, then obtained a bachelor’s degree in medical sciences from the University of Edinburgh, followed by a master’s degree in international health management from Imperial College Business School in London.
She is now an associate in pharmaceutical operations with Ironshore Pharmaceuticals and Development Ltd, and a consultant to the World Health Organisation. She recently co-founded a health care-consulting venture called Healthy Futures Ltd, which she started with her own mentor, who had a profound impact on her life.
McGee is international service chair for 52 Rotaract Clubs around the Caribbean, and service director for Rotaract Blue International. She is a 2015 graduate of Leadership Cayman, in which her classmates elected her as valedictorian. McGee has been involved in numerous fundraising efforts for charities, and is a former Key Club lieutenant governor for the Cayman Islands.
The YCLA Facebook page will post regular video updates by and about McGee throughout the year.
To book a speaking engagement with McGee, email Tara Godfrey, Young Caymanian Leaders Foundation coordinator
The mission of the YCLA programme is to identify, celebrate and honour outstanding young leaders in the community who, through their actions, behaviour and leadership, serve as role models for the youth of Cayman.
Each year, the public nominates candidates who must be Caymanians between the ages of 20 and 35.