St. Maarten Youth Council Awards this Wednesday

The St. Maarten Youth Council Association will host its 2010 Awards Ceremony on Wednesday November 10, 2010 at the Belair Community Center. For over ten years, the St. Maarten Youth Council Association has been recognizing the efforts and achievements of St. Maarten’s Youth through the St. Maarten Outstanding Youth Awards (SMOYA) and the International Students Day Academic Achievement Awards (ISDAAA).  

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In a cost-cutting measure, the two awards will be observed in one ceremony this year.

The annual SMOYA program recognizes and honors young persons between the ages of 6 and 21 who demonstrate the best qualities of St. Maarten’s youth. The objective of this program is to encourage young people on St. Maarten to strive for excellence in everything that they do. This year, sixteen finalists have been selected from a field of nominations submitted by schools, service clubs and sporting organizations. From this group of sixteen, eight SMOYAs will be presented in the areas of Academic Improvement, Community, Culture, Environment, Music, Personal Improvement, Scientific/Technological Development, and Sports.

The 2010 SMOYA finalists are Christopher Velasquez, Nisha Vanjani, Sabine Sinclair, Heston Philbert, Tamara Reid, Riddhi Samtani, Rhone Findlay, Edwin der Weer Jr., Chesley Augustine, Hesroy Philbert, Denzel Richardson, Chardonnay Martes, Nikhil Bharat Punjabi, Malika Friday, Dionisse Carti and Kilee Mercuur. Past SMOYA winners include Calvin Mardembrough Jr., Janushka Mukhi, Chardonnay Martes, Stuart Johnson, and Leshawn Brown.

In November 2000, the St. Maarten Youth Council Association instituted the Academic Achievement Awards to commemorate International Students Day. The purpose of the award is to honor our Secondary School students for outstanding academic achievement.

High Schools are approached to nominate the top student in each form (except the graduating class) for the previous academic year. Students who receive consecutive ISDAAAs are also awarded the Stellar Performance Award. Any student who receives an ISDAAA throughout his/her high school career is eligible for the Pursuit of Excellence Award. This year, ten students will receive Stellar Performance Awards, while one student will be honoured with the Pursuit of Excellence Award.

 The general public is invited to begin the St. Maarten Day celebrations by supporting our outstanding youth on November 10. The Youth Council Awards Ceremony will be held at the Belair Community Center at 7:30 pm. Admission is only $ 2.00 per person and refreshments will be on sale. Entertainment will be provided by SMOYA finalists Sabine Sinclair, Heston Philbert and Chardonnay Martes. Don’t miss it!