Grand Cayman, November 6, 2017 – The 2017/2018 Recipient of the Young Caymanian Leadership Award is Faith Gealey. Chosen from five finalists nominated by the community, Faith’s ability to articulate her passion for mentorship won over the honorary board of the YCLA.
At the awards ceremony on Saturday night at the Kimpton Seafire, she shared with attendees the impact mentorship had on her life, acknowledging two prior YCLA finalists, Tonya Mitchell and Nasaria Suckoo-Cholette.
Faith says, “Mentorship took me from a teenage girl with ideas and ideals and helped transform me into a young woman with a plan and a purpose.”
With fellow finalists, Matt Brown, Yentel McGaw, Stacie Sybersma and Alice Ramos cheering her on, Faith issued a challenge to the corporate community to be generous with more than their financial contributions, calling for the establishment of a new initiative called Take 52 with companies giving their employees hours to commit to mentoring young people.
“If everyone in this room dedicated 52 hours for the next 12 months, that’s just one hour a week, can you imagine the difference you’d make in the life of the children you are mentoring? Can you imagine the impact, if each of you inspire one more person to take on that challenge? In a single year, we could mentor every single student that’s going to graduate high school.”
Ms Gealey said instead of graduating at risk youth who are often labelled as unemployable, “We could positively impact every single student, every single child and create a group of young people with the drive to be goal oriented, motivated and hungry for success. In four or five years, instead of planning for larger jails and social services support, we could instead be planning for larger universities.”
Faith is well known in the Cayman Islands community in her capacity as a speech therapist, but also for her work to showcase Caymanian culture and heritage. Her work with the Cayman Islands Special Needs Foundation has helped increase public awareness about special needs.
2016/2017 YCLA Recipient Joins YCLF
2016/2017 YCLA Recipient, Brianna Wilkerson has joined the Young Caymanian Leaders Foundation as its new coordinator. During the live event, she told the audience about her experience as a finalist speaking to thousands all over the islands. “Our island is filled with talented, capable and heart centered leaders,” she said and described meeting a third grader who wants to be a doctor to help sick children like her sister and a high school student who wanted to create a safe bike path for boys in his school so they stop fighting.
“Not all of these leaders have the confidence, the support and the opportunities to actually do those things and live out and fulfill their purpose and the only way we can see that change is if we keep investing in them and empowering them both verbally with words and practically with action.”
YCLA Announces Young Leaders Roundtable
Director of the Young Caymanian Leaders Foundation, Chris Duggan announced the launch of the Young Leaders Roundtable. “Too often, world leaders don’t engage with the young people of their country,” he said. “It leads to a disconnect between the current leadership and the future leadership of a country.”
The Young Leaders Roundtable is a partnership between the YCLA and the Cayman Islands Government which the Honourable Premier, Mr. Alden McLaughlin has agreed to chair.
The Young Leaders Roundtable brings the finalists of YCLA each year together with the Premier and others in Government to meet on a quarterly basis to discuss the issues of the day, giving our young leaders the opportunity not only to hear from the Premier but to give the Premier the perspective of the country’s youth so that together they can make a tangible difference to the future of the country. The initiative will launch in January.
About our Sponsors
The Foundation thanks this year’s sponsors, including Dart, Celebrations, KPMG, Progressive Distributors, PwC, Kensington, Stone Island, Bodden and Bodden and the Wellness Center.
About the Young Caymanian Leadership Awards
Celebrating its 17th Anniversary this year, the Young Caymanian Leadership Awards programme has as its mission 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.
Candidates are nominated each year by members of the public. The programme is open to any Caymanian between the ages of 20 and 35.
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