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Nov 6, 2013

Outstanding youths awarded by the Ministry of Education

A number of outstanding youths were honored this morning by the Ministry of Education. They came from all over the country and are from all walks of life but the fourteen honorees have one thing in common; they are exemplary young men and women who stand out among their peers and community. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The annual National Youth Awards ceremony was held today at the Bliss, where hundreds of high school students gathered to celebrate the achievements of their peers.  Teenagers from across the country, who have been active in various areas of social development, were formally recognized by the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth.  This year’s honorees include Ian Yacab, a student of Mount Carmel High School.  He won for Art and Culture.

 

Ian Yacab, National Youth Award Winner

Ian Yacab

“I’m very happy.  Last year I was nominated also but I didn’t win the award but at least I was here and this year I have the privilege to have won first place and I have contributed to my culture by playing the marimba music.  That’s my passion and I give my all to it everyday and then I decided last year in January, the eighth of January, I decided to make a group and it’s the Benque Viejo Marimba Academy.  This coming year also we are going to have our first anniversary.  The group is working hard.  We are very positive and we are rescuing our culture [which] was almost dying.”

 

Ricky Cunil is a high school student from Benque Viejo.  He has lost a lower limb, however, his disability does not impede him from pursuing his lifelong dream.  Ricky has been conferred the Person Living with Diverse Abilities Award.

 

Ricky Cunil, National Youth Award Winner

“It has been a privilege and an honor for me to be getting this award.  I feel so proud of all the effort I have put in, also the encouragement of different people around me.  It’s a great thing for me to get this award today.  I’ve been working hard with the Youth Cadet Corps along with Mr. McCoy, who was the one that nominated me not knowing that we were going to win.  So it’s a great thing being here today and receiving this award.”

 

Ricky Cunil

Isani Cayetano

“Share with us your ambition as a young man.  I understand that you are interested in information technology and being able to help to better the lives of other people through this particular medium.  Share with us what your dreams are as an individual.”

 

Ricky Cunil

“I love computers.  As soon as the doctors told me that I was going to lose a foot I started thinking what is going to become of my life now.  So with information technology, with technology everything is possible, I don’t need to have a foot to have a job.  Learning how to use a computer and how to manage and help other people with disabilities such as myself, that can help many people here in Belize that have different disabilities and don’t have a job.”

 

Ian encourages other teenagers like himself to think positive and surround themselves with constructive friends and they too can realize their dreams.

 

Ian Yacab

“I come from a single parent family.  I grew up without a father.  I’m from Benque Viejo and my mother works here in Belize.  I’m alone throughout the week and that doesn’t make me feel alone and get into drugs or behave bad, have a bad behavior.  That motivates me to be a better person although I’m alone and don’t have my parents everyday with me.  And I decided to get involved in positive things that will give a good example for others to follow.  So what I could say to others is that to follow their dreams to do what they like to do.”

 

Isani Cayetano for News Five.

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