NASSAU, The Bahamas – Twenty five exemplary and outstanding Bahamians who have excelled academically and demonstrated commitment to community, leadership and service have been honoured for their efforts by the Ministry of Education and Technical and Vocational Training.
Alexis Godet, a graduate of Saint Augustine’s College, is the 2022 All Bahamas Merit Scholarship (ABM) recipient and Kobe Forbes, also a graduate of St. Augustine’s College and a student at St. John’s University, is the 2022 All Bahamas Merit Scholarship Runner-Up.
ABM scholar Godet, a chemical engineering major at University of South Florida led the achievers who were recognized Thursday, January 5, 2023 at an Award Ceremony at Holy Trinity Activities Centre.
Maya Tilberg, a graduate of Saint Augustine’s College who is studying at University of Missouri is the 2021 All Bahamas Merit scholar and Kamori Sawyer, a graduate of Queen’s College, who is attending Georgia Institute of Technology, is the 2021 All Bahamas Merit Runner-Up.
Public recognition of the 2021 scholars was delayed due to the previous COVID-19 Emergency Orders.
The National Merit Scholarship Recipients for 2021 are: Jasmine Adamson, Kingsway Academy; Dariq Chase, Aquinas College; KEmuel Clarke, Queen’s College; Alyssa Forbes, Saint Augustine’s College; Kiran Halkitis, Saint Augustine’s College; Katrell King, Queen’s College and Rashad Rolle, Bishop Michael Eldon High School.
The National Merit Scholarship Recipients for 2022 are:
Devin Cuffy-Bethel, Queen’s College; A. Kristin-Grace Braynen, Queen’s College; Aaliyah Harrison-Brennen, Queen’s College; Danielle Bonimy, Queen’s College; Shakinah Clarke, Saint Augustine’s College; Andrew Coley, Kingsway Academy; Mary Edomwonyi, Bishop Michael Eldon School; Yannik Gibson, Bahamas Academy; Jenovia Higgs, Saint Augustine’s College; Christopher Knowles, Queen’s College; Yoshi Moxey, Genesis Academy; Kageon Neilly, Queen’s College; Jeevon Pratt, Saint Augustine’s College; and T’ron Strapp, Aquinas College.
The students accepted their awards before teachers, family, well-wishers, school administrators, Ministry of Education officials, senior government officials and representatives of the National Scholarship Advisory Committee. The awards were presented by the Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational Training; the Hon. Zane Lightbourne, State Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational Training and Mrs. Ann-Marie Davis, wife of Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Philip Davis.
A special award was presented to St. Augustine’s College, the top performing school for 2021 and 2022. Marici Thompson, principal, St. Augustine’s College, accepted the award and also gave remarks.
Minister Hanna-Martin congratulated the achievers. She described their accomplishments as the exemplification of a potent combination of discipline, dedication and a consistent pursuit of excellence.
She said, “This formula has yielded spectacular dividends which today we celebrate with you. Indeed The nation not only celebrates with you but we celebrate you — our sons and daughters because you represent the possibility of all that our ancestors dreamed of.”
Minister Martin strongly urged the students to return home on completion of their studies abroad to contribute to the national development of the nation.
“This contribution will inure to the improvement of the lives of the citizens of this nation and for succeeding generations.
“Through your innovative input and your creative contribution, your grounded and inspired presence our nation will forge forward in all spheres of endeavor – in the promotion and attainment of excellent health, in an educational system which stimulates and manifests the huge potential and genius of our youth population, in the engineering of a progressive infrastructure throughout the archipelago, in advancing sustainable green energy, in the advancement of the creative arts and in the development of a diversified economy such as to create a more humane, equitable state both internally and on the global stage.
“Your knowledge, skills, and abilities will help to substantially increase not just the modernization of this great nation but the qualitative improvement of our social and economic cohesion,” she said.
Robyn Lynes, Chairperson of the National Scholarship Advisory Committee, in a message, said one of the biggest challenges the committee faced was the selection of the ABM scholar. “All of our 16 applicants found themselves competing with the slightest score margins dividing them. It was such a wonderful problem to have. Despite the disruption to their method of learning and other impediments spurred by the Pandemic, our scholars worked hard and defied all odds to get here.”
In her overview at the ceremony, she reiterated Minister Hanna-Martin’s appeal. “We always hear about Bahamians doing well in so many parts of the world, but I want those Bahamians doing well in this part of the world taking our country to the next level. All of what we need as a people, as a society, as a civilization invested in you — come home and pour it out,” said Ms. Lynes.
The ABM scholarship is the “most prestigious” scholarship awarded in The Bahamas and is valued at $35,000 per annum for up to 5 years.
The National Merit Scholarship, the second highest level of merit scholarship awarded by the Government of The Bahamas, has a value of $15,000 – $25,000 per year for up to 4 years.