ST. CROIX — On Saturday evening, officials from Project Promise celebrated three local high school students for the second year in a row, a release the nonprofit issued late Monday has made known.
The youth recognition event was held at the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts in Frederiksted and highlighted the accomplishments of three seniors who excelled this school year, despite various challenges. “Our annual Youth Recognition Event selects students who have proven to be excellent role models and students who are willing to go above and beyond to serve others, this year we have three exceptional Honorees,” said Project Promise President Resa O’Reilly.
St. Croix Educational Complex senior Diamond Mark, St. Croix Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC) senior Janaé Christopher, and St. Croix Central High School senior Madelin Yousef were honored Saturday as this year’s Project Promise Youth Recognition Award recipients. They were selected to represent their respective schools by a panel from Project Promise, after submitting an essay on “If Money is no object, and you had all the time in the world, what would you be doing with life.”
Project Promise President Resa O’Reilly. (Credit: Malek Bascombe)
Miss Mark said in her essay that if money were not an issue, she would invest into the Virgin Islands, rebuilding the entire infrastructure including roadways and the educational and health care systems. Miss Mark has been accepted by Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and plans to major in English and government. She also plans to return home as an advocate for the territory.
If money were no object for her, Miss Christopher said she would use her money to better the situation for those around her, including family, church, friends and the community. She would also help to rebuild homes and her church that were damaged by Hurricane Maria, and pay for the education of several friends. Miss Christopher will be attending Virginia State University where she plans to major in communications and hospitality and tourism.
Miss Yousef plans to attend Iowa State University where she will major in an area of Liberal Arts, with a minor in Cosmology. Her life’s aspirations are to become a writer/poet, and she is also interested in evolution and the cosmos. With money at her fingertips, Miss Yousef said she would travel the world to inspire young adults from across the globe to be their best selves.
Project Promise officials, honorees and caterpillar students pose for a picture during Saturday’s youth recognition event. (Credit: Malek Bascombe)
St. Croix Insular Superintendent of Schools, Colleen Williams, offered remarks praising Project Promise for their continued work in the community, and their work with the students in their programs. Deputy Superintendents Faith George and Vaughn Hewitt accompanied Ms. Williams, along with other representatives from Lew Muckle Elementary School, Elena Christian, Central, Complex and CTEC on Saturday.
The all-white affair was garden-party themed, and provided an opportunity for the community to meet the students from Project Promise’s Caterpillar Project. Each Youth Recognition Award recipient received a custom-made handcrafted Jan Mitchell Plaque, an HP laptop, a pendant from Crucian Gold, a $250 voucher for Spirit Airlines and an Award Certificate. The Caterpillar students were also recognized on Saturday evening with awards for their achievements during the school year.
Project Promise thanked the many community partners and sponsors who helped to make the event possible. The nonprofit especially thanked the V.I. Department of Health Family Planning Division, the V.I. Department of Labor, the V.I. Port Authority and the V.I. Economic Development Authority who were the primary sponsors of the event.