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Meet the academic all-stars

We asked some of Cayman’s most accomplished students to share their hobbies, achievements and advice for the future

International College of the Cayman Islands (ICCI)
Davin Barrett
As the father of a new baby, the past year has been challenging: I have also been studying for a double major in finance and business administration and working full-time. On many nights, I have studied until 1.30am and then woken up with the baby an hour later, but through it all I have been on the Dean’s List for about two years. I also received the Golden Spirit Award at The Reef Resort for outstanding service. I will finish my bachelor’s degree this year and I am going straight into the master’s programme. Earning these degrees hasn’t just been about furthering my career, it has also been about pursuing knowledge.

been challenging at times, but I have managed to find a balance between work, school, the kids and my household chores with the help of my family, classmates and faculty.

Lastenia Tibbetts
I am pursuing a bachelor’s degree in accounting and I plan to complete my programme this summer. As a single mother of two young children, juggling school, family and work has been challenging, and many times a bit overwhelming, but I am a determined individual who strives for excellence both personally and academically. Currently, I am the property accountant at Ramada Grand Caymanian Resort and I serve as the undergraduate student representative on the ICCI’s Academic Council Board. After completing my degree, my aspiration is to pass the certified public accountant exam and ultimately become a partner with a major accounting firm.

Donnalissa Thorpe
When I graduated with my associate’s degree, I received awards from Cayman National and the Cayman Islands Society of Professional Accountants for the highest GPA in finance and accounting. Now, I am pursuing my bachelor’s degree in both fields and my goal is to secure a job where I can progress in accounting and eventually become a chief financial officer. Being a single mother with two young children and attending school has

Wesleyan Christian Academy (WCA)
Whitney Ebanks
I’m a senior at WCA, and was born in George Town, Grand Cayman. My favourite sport is volleyball and in 2010, I participated in Junior Achievement, an

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international programme encouraging students to use their business and entrepreneurial skills. I’m proud to say that our company won the ‘Product of the Year’ award. In the future, I hope to become a doctor.

Karisha Danielle D. Mallari
I was born in the Philippines and have lived in Cayman for half my life (I am 17). In my first year on the island, I joined some activities to keep myself from feeling home sick. I joined Junior Achievement and was vice president of marketing, and I participated in the school spelling bee competition, placing third. Now, I’m graduating from WCA, and I hope to use my perseverance to succeed.

confidence. In my free time, I enjoy exercising, watching crime shows and eating out. I believe you should always maintain a positive outlook on life—even when things are at their toughest. And always try to motivate others, too—you’d be surprised how helping someone else achieve their dreams can help you along your path.

Allison McDonald
I’m a social studies student at UCCI and a member of the Student Council Committee and the UCCI Choir. I hold a bronze and silver Duke of Edinburgh Award, and I’ve also been a youth group leader and announcer at All Nations UPC. In my free time, I like singing, going to church, spending time with my friends and family, and helping people whenever and wherever I can. I also like playing sports, even if it’s just for fun. I think if you have a dream, you should pursue it. Work hard, be disciplined and don’t give in too easily to the pressures around you. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge”.

Melissa Jackson
I’m a junior at Wesleyan Christian Academy, and my ultimate goal is to pursue my passion for music and become a flute major. I try my best to practise every day, and I’m a member of the school music groups. I also take private lessons at Cayman Music School, and I play solos to build my confidence, which is important when performing. I recently passed my Trinity Guildhall grade six practical flute test, and completed this year’s Junior Achievement programme.

Ian Charlery
I’m a social studies student at UCCI and a police constable. I’m also president of the Student Representative Council. I have a huge interest in social issues, am an avid sports fan and I enjoy teaching others. If I could give one piece of advice to other young people, it would be: always do what you are afraid to do. Do not settle with the status quo. Great people were not made under easygoing, non-stressful situations. If we want to truly achieve greatness, we must persevere and sacrifice the luxury of today for a better tomorrow, because we are indeed the leaders of tomorrow whether we want the responsibility or not.

Kendra Ebanks
I am 16 and a junior at WCA. For three years, I represented my school in the Cayman Islands Youth Assembly. I participated for two years in junior achievement, and earned the privilege of attending the Canadian Junior Achievement Conference. I have been on the Honor Roll, I have won the WCA Female Choir Award and the Administrators Award, and I have also placed at the International Student Convention. As a contestant in the Cayman Islands National Children’s Festival of the Arts, I have won a number of awards, mainly for instrumental music. In the future, I’d like to work with children or music.

Lloyd Barker
I am studying economics at UCCI and am a student ambassador, a member of the choir and drama programme, and a national track-and-field representative. I’ve also been a member of the Cayman Islands’ National Adult Orchestra and Youth Choir, and was the youngest member of the Junior Achievement Alumni. My hobbies include reading, graphic design and singing, and I have a keen interest in legal studies, track-and-field, community services and photography. I believe that education is the door to success and the stepping stone to a purposeful future.

University College Cayman Islands (UCCI)
Allison Anglin
I’m studying for a BSc in business administration and I am also an assistant accountant at UCCI. I have been a secretary and director of professional development at Rotaract Blue and through working for a community club, I have improved my interpersonal and public speaking skills and built up my


FAST TRACK / Education module / 2012-13


Triple C School
Lorena Morejon
I am a member of the National Society of High School Scholars and this year, I was chosen for the Mentoring Cayman programme, an initiative to help highachieving students reach their full potential. I recently won a competition to be a journalist for the day with Cayman Free Press and I won the people’s choice award and best short film at the Cayman National Cultural Foundation (CNCF) Young Image Maker Competition for my film The Boy and the Sea. This was one of my biggest achievements to date—as part of my prize package, I will be attending the New York Film Academy summer camp. I think everyone should dream big and in the future, I’d like to attend university and major in architecture, with a minor in film editing or photography. In my free time, I enjoy keeping fit, photography and film-making, art, netball and soccer.

Cayman International School (CIS)
Kirsten Ebanks
My biggest achievement to date is being awarded the CIS four-year scholarship after winning the top student award at George Hicks High School. My hobbies include playing the piano and clarinet, and I enjoy anything to do with art and design. In the future, I hope to study either forensic or medical science. If I could give one piece of advice to other students, it would be not to underestimate yourself, because if you are willing to work hard and never give up, you are capable of just about anything. There is a world of opportunity waiting for you, and you just have to rise to the occasion.

Jack Graham
As a student at CIS, my biggest achievement has been playing in the school’s 2011/12 football team. We won three tournaments: the private school league, Socca Feva in Kingston, Jamaica and the private school sevena-side tournament. In my free time, I enjoy playing sports and hanging out with my friends and family members. In the future, I plan to go to Kings College, London to study law and I’d like to work in a law firm. I believe that you should study hard and hand in your work on time. Do that, and school becomes much easier.

Simon Tatum
I am a junior at Triple C School. I work hard to maintain high grades and I enjoy studying challenging courses like CXC and A.P. I am a member of Triple C’s Key Club and in my free time, I enjoy playing sports because I like teamwork, and art, because of the freedom of expression it offers. I also enjoy spending time with my family and close friends, and being an active member of my local church. I am looking forward to the future, and I hope to become an illustrator and study a fine arts degree in illustration. I believe life is what you make of it. You should work hard in school, but also take the time to enjoy meaningful experiences, build quality friendships and create lasting memories.

Sheline Chandi
I am in the 11th grade at CIS and am part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme. I have been playing the piano for 10 years and it is still one of my hobbies, along with tennis. I also enjoy doing community work and last summer, I volunteered in the emergency room at Miami Children’s Hospital. As a child life specialist volunteer, it was my job to help patients and their families prepare

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for and cope with illness, medical procedures and hospitalisation. When I graduate from CIS, I’d like to attend university in the US and major in business and communications or medicine.

Ann-Alecia Moore
I am a year 11 student at St Ignatius, and am president of the school Key Club and chairperson of the student council. I was also a member of the Cayman Islands Youth Assembly and the Cayman Islands Youth Parliament. I enjoy playing clarinet and piano, and I have also taken part in a Duke of Edinburgh expedition. Balancing my studies and extra-curricular commitments has been challenging, but with good organisation and time management, it is achievable. After completing my A Levels, I would like to pursue a career as an attorney and I know that by working hard and having the right mind set, anything will be possible.

St Ignatius Catholic School
Kelcey Huggins
I have attended St Ignatius since kindergarten. In 2010, I was awarded the Principal’s Award for the student who best demonstrates Christian ethos, the Ernst & Young award for academic excellence and six subject awards. I was also named student of the year. I am very grateful to my teachers and parents for their constant encouragement, and I owe my success to them. I’m planning to go to Canada later this year to study education and geography, and afterwards, I hope to return to Cayman to benefit my community.

Cayman Prep and High School
Ethan Whittaker
My proudest achievement to date is winning the Principal’s Award twice, for having the highest average exam results in my year group. I have also been named top scientist, top French student and top mathematician in my year. In my spare time, I enjoy playing in the school steel pan band, reading, and playing basketball and squash. My ambition is to be an aeronautical engineer, and I would like to go to university in the US—preferably somewhere cold for a change! With hard work, I think I can get there.

Alexandra Franklin
I am a prefect at St Ignatius Catholic School, where I am in my first year of A Level studies. I have recently been elected the 2012-13 lieutenant governor of Cayman Islands Key Club, and I have received several awards for high achievement throughout my academic career. In the future, I hope to study law in the UK and become a human rights lawyer. I’d also like to spend a year in Spain. My advice to other students is to work as hard as you possibly can and never accept failure, because anything is possible if you work for it.

Prateek Jagadeesh
I am a year 11 student at St Ignatius and this year, I will graduate with a grade point average of 4.16. My favourite subjects are maths and science, and I’d like to pursue a career in engineering or medicine. I enjoy taking part in extracurricular activities and my hobbies include chess and playing the piano. I am the treasurer of Key Club and secretary of the student council, and I have also participated in the Junior Achievement and Mentoring Cayman programmes. It is difficult to balance academic and extracurricular activities, but I think everyone should try as, in the long run, your school experience will be much more satisfying and enriching.

Ashli Welcome
I’m currently in year 11 and after completing my A Levels, I’d like to study veterinary medicine at a UK university, become fluent in French and write a novel. These goals have been inspired by the teaching I received at Cayman Prep, and the most important thing instilled in me as a pupil is the school motto—‘let your light so shine’. Although Cayman Prep is a highly academic school, there are a wide range of extracurricular activities on offer, and my favourites are Key Club and the Duke of Edinburgh scheme. The Duke of Edinburgh bronze expedition is a great way to develop your perseverance and teamworking skills, and it leaves you feeling incredibly proud to have completed such an esteemed award.


FAST TRACK / Education module / 2012-2013