Richard Kellman, group chief operating officer, Sagicor Financial Corporation, delivers the opening address.

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 naparima girls are sagicor Visionaries Champs

In January, Sagicor in collaboration with the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF) and the Ministry of Education, launched the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge, an inter-school competition to run at the national and regional levels.
The objective was to identify a challenge facing a respective school or community, and using science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), develop effective, innovative and sustainable solutions to the challenge identified.
The national finals event was held on March 22 at the auditorium of the Queen’s Royal College in Port of Spain.
Naparima Girls High School emerged the eventual winners with project “So who is the farmer in your neighbourhood?”

Students participating were Teshenna Mohammed, Salma Kalloo, Rishma Persad, Sujaya Maharaj, Jiovanna Dhanai, Ishana Maharaj, Asmita Nankissoon, Priyaka Narine, Janelle Raghoo, Kady Seecharan, Katrina Sookraj, Hanna Niamath, and Lilian Soogrim and their teacher was Sarah Balgobin.
The pupils’ project statement was: “Trinidad and Tobago spends billions importing foods which can be profitably grown locally using modern agricultural methods. It is proposed that the following can increase food security in a sustainable Caribbean community: The marketing of kitchen garden kits containing pots/ troughs/hydroponic systems, soil, nursery plants, fertilizer, tools and instructions. A kitchen garden in school will act as a model with produce sold within the school community.” First runner up was St Joseph Convent, San Fernando with “A Green Scene at SJC” and second runner up was St Joseph’s Convent, Port of Spain with “Cool for School”.

Special prizes included:
Best Presentation – TIE
1. We Stand For Green – Five Rivers
Secondary School
2. A Green Scene at SJC – St
Joseph’s Convent, San Fernando

Best Use of STEM
1. A Green Scene at SJC –
St Joseph’s Convent, San Fernando

Best Plan and Project Design
1. Cool For School – St Joseph’s
Convent, Port of Spain

Most Creative and Innovative
Presentation Award - TIE
1. Cool For School – St Joseph’s
Convent, Port of Spain

2. A Green Scene at SJC – St
Joseph’s Convent, San Fernando

Most Relevant to Sustainable Caribbean Communities Award - TIE
1. We Stand For Green – Five Rivers

Secondary School
2. Who’s De Farmer – Naparima Girls.

Sagicor group chief operating officer Richard Kellman said at the finals: “Sagicor is fortunate to be standing at the crossroads of time, with a solid 173 years of existence behind us and looking ahead to a future that we are influencing right at this moment through the young minds of our nation. Out of this Sagicor Young Visionaries initiative that we have the good fortune to sponsor will come brilliant ideas that will positively influence the future that lies ahead of us. This is a satisfying yet humbling place to occupy—standing at the crossroads of time with an opportunity to win the future.”
He added: “Sagicor is also fortunate to have partners in the form of the Caribbean Science Foundation, the Caribbean Examinations Council and the Ministries of Education who provide the resources for us to pull off this ambitious project of showcasing the creativity of 800 of our students throughout the region.
Even with our widespread branch network throughout the islands, Sagicor would not have gotten very far without CSF who provided 150 mentors and 75 judges, CXC whose access to the schools and students enabled our messages to be delivered and accepted, and the Ministries of Education who granted us approval.”
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