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Opening Address
Governor’s Youth Award For Excellence
His Excellency, the Governor of Sint Maarten, drs. Eugene B. Holiday,

June 24, 2021

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening and welcome to all joining us for the second annual Governor’s Youth Award For Excellence.

Welcome minister of Education, Culture Youth and Sports Mr. Rodolph Samuel, evaluation committee members, finalists, parents, nominators and to all present with us in the audience as well as online.

And a special welcome to our guests of honor, the recipients of the 2020 Governor’s Youth Awards For Excellence, (Nigel Adriana, Riya Baharani and Sara Bharwani) who are here with us this evening. Due to obligations overseas Ray-Angel Boasman could not be with us this evening.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This is our second annual Governor’s Youth Awards For Excellence. As your hosts, Marie-Louise and I, are pleased to recognize and share the achievements of several of our outstanding youths with you. Outstanding youths who in their respective fields have made it a habit to be excellent.

We are as a result here to acknowledge and celebrate the excellence of several of our youths who will receive the 2021 Governor’s Youth Award For Excellence this evening.

We are doing so because we all agree that our children are our future. It is therefore our obligation to teach, guide and invest in them to be the very best they can be. The Governor’s Youth Award For Excellence is as a result aimed at encouraging young persons to always strive for excellence. The Award therefore recognizes youths, ages 13 through 19, who have excelled in academics, sports, arts, environmental protection, or community service.

The Governor’s Youth Award For Excellence recognizes excellence as a mindset, as a habit, in that it seeks to capture the candidates’:
• skills in terms of their consistent outstanding achievements in their specific field of interest;
• to capture their dedication to their education;
• to capture their special qualities in terms of their determination, respect for peers and teachers; and
• to capture their potential to inspire.

This year we received 20 nominations. All 20 candidates went through a thorough evaluation by our distinguished panel of judges under the leadership of Mrs. Oldine Bryson-Pantophlet. Thank you Mrs. Bryson-Pantophlet and all our judges for your wonderful work. Thank you for evaluating and scoring each nominee.

I also wish to extend a very special thanks to the evaluating committee members and to my staff who have worked tirelessly to organize and make this evening’s event possible.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thanks to their work the 2021 award recipients will be announced shortly. Based on the judges scoring we have five finalists from the 20 nominees. No finalists were selected for the categories: sports, environmental protection, or community service. From the five finalists, awards will be presented in the categories:
• Arts; and
• Academics.

Having reviewed the nominations of the finalists it is evident that they have put in a lot of hard work and received a lot of support from their community. I therefore applaud the parents, teachers, and nominators on their efforts to develop and nurture the young finalists present with us this evening. As recognition for your investment in our youth we will be dedicating two items to you during the program.

To the finalist, I hereby congratulate you and I trust that this award ceremony will inspire you to continue to strive for excellence and to be a role model for your peers. And as you continue to strive for excellence, I wish to leave you with these words from my mother and from the great philosopher Aristotle.

My mother inspired me to be the best that I could be. She often told me: “work for it and you can be anything you want to be”. She was right.

And it was the great philosopher Aristotle who reminded us, and I quote: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Unquote.

With that I advise all to work for what you want and make it a habit to be excellent. I repeat: work for what you want and make it a habit to be excellent.

I thank you for your presence and declare the 2021 Governor’s Youth Award for Excellence Open.

Thank you.
God Bless our Youth, and
May God bless and protect our sweat Sint Maarten Land.


During the ceremony the Governor’s Youth Award For Excellence was presented to:
1. Faith Peterson, co-recipient in the category Arts;
2. Tefari Prevoo Francisco, co-recipient in the category Arts; and
3. Jamie Lynch, recipient in the category Academics;