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2019 RUBiS Top Student Grand Prize Winner Announced

2019 RUBiS Top Student Grand Prize Winner Announced
14 June 2019, 05:36 AM

Kai Roberts of West End Primary School, Cayman Brac was announced as the winner of the 2019 RUBiS Top Student awards program at the awards ceremony last night on June 12, 2019 at the George Town Yacht Club.

Kai impressed the two independent judging panels with his passion for music.

“Kai demonstrated not only a talent for guitar but also a desire to use his musical skills to bring joy to those around him and make a positive impact on the community, having already used his musical talents to help spread delight with the Lions and Leos Christmas Cheer Programme,” Mr Nicolas de Breyne, Managing Director of RUBiS Cayman said.

As the winner of RUBiS Top Student, Kai will receive a $5,000 grant to fuel his passions as well as an additional $1,000 to be donated to a club or school of his choice.

Speaking at the award ceremony, the Hon. Juliana O'Connor-Connolly, Minister for Education, Youth, Sports, Agriculture and Lands thanked RUBiS for their vision and valuable contribution to education in the Cayman Islands.

She also encouraged the students to "be R-espectful and resilient; be that U-nstoppable person; and go B-eyond the call of duty; use your I-ntelligence and S-top at nothing short of Success,” she said by creatively transforming the letters of the RUBiS brand name into an acronym.

“I am thrilled to see our winner, Kai Roberts, is from West End Primary School in the Brac. This shows that even if you’re from a small school as long as you’ve got passion, faith, and are willing to work hard, you can be successful at whatever you put your mind to.”

Kai’s Grade 5 teacher, Ms Diana Kennedy, describes him as model student with exceptional leadership abilities, a high level of maturity and responsibility.

“Kai is not only dedicated to his school work but also participates in extra-curricular activities such as learning the guitar, singing, football and public speaking,” she said.

Kai won second place in the 2019 Lions Club Claudette Upton Keeley Public Speaking contest and has been awarded gold and silver in past National Children’s Festival of the Arts speech competitions. He is a school prefect, active in his church participating in Pathfindering, Adventist Youth meetings and community activities.

Kai was among the 10 finalists chosen from the 70 submissions.

The other nine finalists were Alzavia Goulbourne from Red Bay Primary School, Damoya Fearon from Red Bay Primary School, Hosannia O'Connor from East End Primary School, Jeleah Maize from George Town Primary School, Kaz Conolly Basdeo from Montessori By The Sea, Kezzia King from Triple C School, Naima Myles from George Town Primary School, Oral Michelin from The Lighthouse School and Tianna Ebanks from Prospect Primary School. They will receive $1,000 each towards pursuing their passions.

“All the students really demonstrated their determination, dedication, drive and enthusiasm for their passion,” Mr de Breyne said. “Even at such a young age, these students are already developing skills like teamwork, goal setting and leadership, which will no doubt assist them in building bright and successful futures.”

“With the completion of the third RUBiS Top Student program, we will have donated over $56,000 in financial grants to over 40 students in the Cayman Islands. Grants that are helping students pursue their passions and reach their goals,” he said.

The program, which first launched in 2015, was open to students ages 7-12 across the Cayman Islands. Students interested in applying were asked to exhibit excellence, passion and enthusiasm in any particular area of interest such as fine arts, performing arts, sports, STEM activities or academic achievement, in order to be in with a chance of winning a financial grant to support their passion.