The Youth Services Unit (YSU) invites the public to submit nominations for the Proud of Them Youth awards programme. The programme recognizes exceptional talent among young Caymanians aged 10 to 25 years who have demonstrated excellence in one (1) or a maximum of two (2) awarding categories within: Academics, Sports, Culture, Business, Career and Community Service.
Proud of Them Honourees, along with parents, supporters and senior Government Officials were celebrated at the Round 13 Proud of Them Gala in 2022.
Now in its 10th year, the programme has honoured the contributions of over 140 youth across the Cayman Islands. Youth Minister, Hon. Bernie Bush notes: “The success of this initiative is because of the high caliber of young people. If you know youth that fit this description; submit a nomination. They are making a substantial impact on our country and we want to recognize them."
Billboards, social media and videos have been used throughout the years to raise awareness of the projects and work done by Proud of Them Honourees. In line with its 10th year celebrations; Proud of Them will debut refreshed branding with a robust new colour palette of orange and yellow. To bolster the programme, planned updates have also been made by implementing a new online form, enhancing the scoring protocol and introducing a new awarding category for "Rising Stars."
These updates aim to ensure there is a detailed snapshot of each applicants' contributions to their awarding category. While 15 Honourees will be selected, inclusive of two (2) from the sister islands; the new "Rising Stars" category will consist of two (2) additional nominees in the top 16th/17th scoring youth overall.
YSU’s Head of Unit, Mellony Bryan-Waugh, remarked, “Over 100 applications were reviewed by the Selection Committee last year. With upgrades made to streamline the nomination process, it is a historic year for Proud of Them. I am excited to receive the final selections from the Committee and to continue seeing the high caliber of youth being nominated."
Names of the 15 Honourees and 2 Rising Stars will be announced at an awards gala in November. "The development of the programme over the years shows that even at a young age, we can accomplish impressive things. The Ministry of Youth is pleased to play its part in strengthening this programme," said Ms. Teresa Echenique, Chief Officer for the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Culture & Heritage.
Each Proud of Them Honouree will be awarded a $1,000 cheque at the awards gala. They will also feature on roadside billboards across the Cayman Islands. Rising Stars will receive special acknowledgement at the gala.
Persons interested in nominating an outstanding youth, must complete an online Nomination Form. This form asks for contact details for the Nominee; and also requests a short justification of why they should be selected for the award. After this; an automatic email is sent to the Nominee. The email requests that the Nominee submit additional documents as evidence to support their nomination.
All information from Nominees (including supporting documents) will be due by 29th September at 11:59PM. Members of the public should complete a Nomination Form as soon as possible, by visiting www.youthservices.ky/proudofthem to ensure that outstanding youth nominees have sufficient time to submit their supporting documents.
Proud of Them Billboards around that Cayman Islands have been promoting the achievements of Honourees and enhancing youth representation across districts. Billboards in 2023 will debut new re-branded colours for greater visibility.