YCLA Announces 2018/2019 Recipient Staci Scott

Grand Cayman, November 13th, 2018 – The 2018/2019 Recipient of the Young Caymanian Leadership Award is Staci Scott.  Chosen from five finalists nominated by the community, Staci’s ability to articulate her passion for lifelong learning and her heart for the Cayman community won over the honorary board of the YCLA.   

At  Saturday night’s gala awards at the Kimpton Seafire, Staci and her fellow finalists – Kacey Mobley, Kimberley Conolly, Samuel Young, and Wilbur Welcome were all recognized and honored for their work in the community.   In attendance, Cayman’s new Governor, His Excellency Martyn Roper and his wife, Elisabeth, Deputy Governor, the Hon. Franz Manderson and his wife Nuvia as well as Financial Services Minister, the Honorable Tara Rivers. Also in attendance, Councillors Austin Harris, David Wight, and Barbara Connolly.   Police Commissioner Derek Byrne and his wife were also at the event along with hundreds of family, friends, and sponsors.

During her acceptance speech, Staci shared the impact mentorship has had on her life. She said, I am standing in front of you tonight because someone believed in me, and they didn’t just take time to tell me, they took time to show me.”   

Staci challenged the audience to give at least one hour a week of their time to a young person and encouraged us all to listen to Cayman’s young people’s fears and insecurities, help them with their homework, assure them that they are enough, capable and worthy.

Growing up, I remember being told in school that Cayman was one of few countries with little natural resources in the traditional way of thinking, but what we have is more precious than any metal or fuel or crop: our natural resources are our young people and they are counting on us to love, support and mold them.”

Ms. Scott ended her speech with a story of her experience with little children in Uganda and a reminder to the audience to give Cayman’s young people the chance to explore, try new things, and take risks.

“The best villages create an atmosphere where children are nurtured, protected, and secure in the knowledge that they are free to explore and that home will always welcome them back with open arms. In Uganda or Cayman, that is what we should aim for. Children who are happy, content, supported, eager to learn about new things, and free to run – literally or figuratively – after the unknown. I am excited to see what we can do together.”

Staci Scott is actively involved in many community programs including Literacy is for Everyone, Big Brothers Big Sisters, 100 Women in Finance NextGen Mentoring Program, KPMG’s Scholarship and Corporate Citizenship Committees and a few other community organization. Her work with these organizations is her avenue to creating lifelong learning through mentorship and showing the young people of Cayman that they matter.

If you would like to book Staci to speak with your organization, please email us with your preferred date or dates as soon as possible. Send an email to brianna@ycla.ky with the subject line: Booking for Staci.


2017/2018 YCLA Recipient Faith Gealey

2016/2017 YCLA Recipient Faith Gealey gave her final official speech on Saturday, during the live event.  She told the audience about her experience as a finalist speaking to thousands all over the islands on the importance of mentoring Cayman’s young people. She also reported on the Project 52 challenge she issued in her acceptance speech in 2017.

“Back in 2017, I issued a challenge for everyone to commit to one hour of mentorship per week, for 52 weeks. While the formal response to the challenge waned, there continued to be individuals who were inspired to take up the mantle of mentorship and give back to our community in meaningful and profound ways.”

Faith reported that even with her other community responsibilities, YCLA speaking engagements, work, and being a mom, she was able to complete the challenge and log over 75 hours of mentorship.

Faith says she enjoyed reaching an audience of more than 16,000 over the course of the year but was most fulfilled by the opportunity to connect with people and help them connect with each other.

“Connecting with our community is more than just speeches. It’s using a science experiment to show how important it is to feed our minds and spirits with positivity. It’s encouraging a budding chef to keep trying at that recipe until they get it just right. It’s showing that each of the people in our community that they matter, they are valued and that someone is in their corner.

This year showed me that our young people are hungry for connection. What they most desire is not the latest gadget, but a connection with someone who can quench their thirst for mentorship.”

The YCLA board expressed its gratitude for Faith’s contribution on behalf of YCLA and appreciation for the work she will continue to do in our community.


Spencer West Inspires Leaders to Ask for Help

Our keynote speaker this year was Spencer West, an author, and motivational speaker with the WE Organization, a philanthropic organization and social movement dedicated to shifting the focus on “ME” to “WE” and empowering communities of individuals to work together to create powerful transformation in this world.

Spencer’s life has been marked by many obstacles and challenges due to not having legs from a young age. However, Spencer shared with us that instead of focusing on what he didn’t have or couldn’t do, he focused on what he did have, what he could do, and made it his mission to redefine what was possible – by asking for help.

Whether it was help in finding what he was passionate about in life, climbing the highest mountain in Africa to raise money for clean water for two communities in Africa, or help to ring a bell to make a wish after climbing to the top of a mountain in India, Spencer knew that if he was going to make a difference in this world and follow his passions, he would have to ask for help.

“A true leader knows when to ask for help. It shows your humanity. It shows courage and it rallies people around a specific problem.”

Spencer also shared that a true leader must also offer help if they truly want to make the world a better place.

“It is up to each one of us to make the world a better place. I told you all those stories not to make myself look special, but show you that if I could still do it with physical disabilities, everyone else here has the same ability to do so.”

Watch Spencer’s full talk below:


YCLA Gives Update on the Young Caymanian Leaders Roundtable

Director of the Young Caymanian Leaders Foundation, Chris Duggan shared an update on the Young Leaders Round Table, which started this past year. The Young Caymanian Leaders Roundtable is a partnership between the YCLA and the Cayman Islands Government which the Honourable Premier, Mr. Alden McLaughlin agreed to chair in 2017.

This past year, the 2017 YCLA Finalists got a chance to sit with the Premier and the Deputy Premier to discuss issues of the day, from the perspective of the country’s youth.

Reporting via video on how the first roundtable went, the Premier shared why the roundtable was so important to him.

“One of my great concerns is the lack of succession planning. Sooner or later, those of us of my age are going to leave the scene. We need to do everything we possibly can to make sure our shoes are filled and that we have Young Caymanian people who have the adequate skills, experience, drive, and ambition to take over the many leadership roles in the Cayman Islands.”

We want to thank the Premier and the Cayman Islands Government for giving our YCLA Finalists this opportunity. The next roundtable will take place early next year with the YCLA 2018 Finalists.


About our Sponsors

The Foundation thanks this year’s sponsors, including Dart, KPMG, Celebrations, Progressive Distributors, PwC, Kensington, Stone Island, Grant Thornton, Ritz Carlton, Kimpton and Cayman Life TV.

About the Young Caymanian Leadership Awards

Celebrating its 18th Anniversary this year, the Young Caymanian Leadership Awards programme has as its mission to identify, celebrate and honor outstanding young leaders in the community who, through their actions, behavior, 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.

For More Information on YCLA, visit our website at www.youngcaymanianleaders.ky or contact Brianna at brianna@ycla.ky

Watch the full show of the 2018 Gala Below: