It was a celebration of youth excellence on Saturday night when 13 young people were recognised for their outstanding work, passion and determination in their respective career fields.
They were lauded during the National Youth Awards 2022 ceremony held at the Frank Collymore Hall, St Michael.
In his remarks, Minister of Youth Charles Griffith said it was important to highlight the achievements of young people especially since there was a lot of negativity surrounding the youth in recent times.
As a father, he said he was saddened to learn that 23 year-old Hakeem Roberto Stuart would be spending life in prison for murdering Damian Trotman on March 21, 2019 in Sheraton Mall.
He said Stuart had his entire life ahead of him and one misguided act had sealed his fate.
On this note, Charles said that was why it was important for Government to establish programmes to help bring out the best in young people. He said Government was committed to ensuring that young people take flight and make their community and island proud.
Charles also told the awardees that the recognition they received had nothing to do with them on a personal level but the invaluable contributions they made to make Barbados a better place.
For his contributions to sports development, Taahir Bulbulia received the Conrad Hunte Award.
Don Leacock, founder of Build Up Barbados, was honoured with the Ficus Award for his impactful community outreach programme.
Dario Nightengale won the Challenge Award for his activism among the deaf community.
The Hope Award went to the 6th form at Harrison College for its secondary school-based work to improve school, peers and wider communities.
Ronelle King, founder of Life In Leggings, won the Phoenix Award because she created a safe space for Caribbean women to break the silence of sexual abuse.
Jovani Gittens took home the Colin Hudson Award for his innovative work in science and technology.
The Bambusa Award went to Kwame Dowridge, who founded the Maths A+ Academy to help children struggling to get good grades in the subject area.
Akeem Rudder won the Banyan Award for his contributions to sports development and being the only person in the Caribbean to own a sports academy heavily dedicated to people with disabilities.
Zachary Bostic received the Baobab Award for his prolific talent as a drummer in the Israel Lovell Foundation.
The Calabash Award went to AAliyah Joseph, who was recognised for her love for videography and ability to create compelling short films and documentaries.
Joshua Forte is an independent researcher and sustainable environmental consultant. He received the Canewood Award for his innovative agricultural business – Red Diamond Compost Inc.
Ashonelle Taitt took home the Sandbox award for using social media to engage and inform the public about pressing issues.
Ashley Lashey won the Silk Cotton for her outstanding work and advocacy on environmental health.
Six special awards went to individuals and groups who made noteworthy contributions.
Cameron Forde was recognised for his honesty. He found money in a supermarket and persistently tracked the owner.
Shimrhondy Adridge was in the first cohort of the Barbados Youth Advance Corps in 2019 and was awarded the Most Outstanding Trainee at her passing out parade.
Najari Chaseis found the wallet of a British visitor in 2022 and returned it. He received the designation of Peace AMbassador from the Ministry of Education.
Five students from the Coleridge & Parry School – Nathaniel Shepherd, Stephan Herbert, Naldo John, Tyreek Howell and Shania Morris – were awarded for their generous spirit for helping an ill elderly man they saw at the side of the road.
Nathan Blackman, Natasha Blackman, Jaquon Blackman and Jerome Forde, students of the Reynold Weekes Primary School, were recognised for giving a snack vendor a wallet they found so she could return it to the owner.
Emmanuel Cherubin’s selflessness was recognised after he assisted an elderly man having difficulty in the sea on Easter Monday last year. (SZB)