PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT: Alliyah Ramnath collects her award from Jasmine Pascal during the 2014 National Youth Awards ceremony at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s. —Photos: Ayanna KINSale


Youngsters excel at Youth Awards

By Kimoy Leon Sing

Aliyah RAmNath, 12, Anna King, 13 and 13-year-old, Jeromy Rodriguez were the youngest recipients at the 2014 National Youth Awards. Amrath copped the Personal Triumph Award in the 12-17 category. It is an award that recognises a young person who has overcome difficulties such as family circumstances, geographical location, health or disability to make an important contribution to society or is an inspirational role model to others. Rodriguez copped the Minister’s Award for initiatives on anti-bullying in the community while King copped the Arts and Culture award in the category 12-17.
Amrath, King and Rodriguez were not the only winners for the evening. There was much excitement in the air at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s on August 12 as the red carpet was rolled out and the 146 nominees dressed in formal wear; embraced the theme at this year’s awards ceremony—Stand Up, Step Out. The nominees were honoured in the following categories: Entrepreneurship, Sport and Recreation, Arts and Culture, Leadership, Personal Triumph, Environment, Volunteerism in the Community, Agriculture, Youth Ally and the Minister’s Award.
Kriston Koon Koon, 16, copped the Entrepreneurship award (12-17) category while Ian Haywood Jr and Darian Ramesar both got the top spot in the 18-29 category for the same award. Koon Koon is vice president of Marketing for the company Monkey Spray. Monkey Spray is a Junior Achievement Accessories company that provides high quality products for teens and young adults.
Kristan Kallicharan got the Sport and Recreation award (12-17 category). Kallicharan, 15, played cricket for his school in the East Zone in 2013, where he served as the captain of the National Under-15 team that year. This team won the regional Under-15 tournament in Jamaica and he even went with the West Indies team to Australia later that year. This year, he scored 215 not out in an Under-16 match playing for his school. Kallicharan also played in an Under-14 National quarterfinal match and scored 404 not out. He was selected for the Trinidad and Tobago Under-15 and Under-17 teams and was reelected National Under-15 captain.
From song; to dance and music guests were entertained with performances from Darryl Gervais, Wasafoli Trinidad and Tobago Dance Group, the Amritam Shakti Dance Company and the St Mary’s Children’s Home Girls’ Choir. The nominees also got words of encouragement from 2013 National Youth Award Ambassador, Yetunde Williams.
Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development, Clifton De Coteau said, “In our nation’s darker moments, we can be blinded to this positivity, but the abundance of good in our country, and specifically among you, the youth is staggering. One only needs to look at each of you here today and the long list of your accomplishments to see the incredible breadth of talent and heart that already exists.”
De Coteau noted that there will be a National Children’s Forum in October; open to youths between the ages 10-17. The forum will give boys and girls the opportunity to express themselves in areas of art, public speaking, dance, drama, music and poetry, he said.

Recipients 2014 National Youth Awards

Agriculture award— Darian Ramesar
Arts and Culture award (12-17) category— Anna King
Arts and Culture award (18-29) category— Johann Chuckaree
Entrepreneurship award (12-17) category— Kriston Koon Koon
Entrepreneurship award (18-29) category— Ian Haywood Jr and Darian Ramesar
Environment award— Kemba Jaramogi
Leadership award (12-17) category— Jared Jordan Seemungal
Leadership award (18-29) category Eric Lewis
Personal triumph award (12-17) category— Aliyah Amrath
Personal triumph award (18-29) category -Tricia Bruce-Phillip
Sport and Recreation award (12-17) category— Kirstan Kallicharan
Sport and Recreation award (18-29) category— Jovian Gomez
Volunteerism in the Community award (individual) category— Annisa Ramnarine and Vikki Ramdass
Volunteerism in the Community award (group) category— Gift of Life Foundation
Youth Ally award— Sherna Alexander-Benjamin and Declan Hive
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