YCLA 2010 nominees announced

Now in its 10th year, the Young Caymanian Leadership Awards has honoured many young Caymanians for their outstanding contributions within the community. On the 20th of this month the 2010 YCLA recipient will be announced at a glittering gala event at The Ritz-Carlton. Business Editor Lindsey Turnbull gets to know this year’s five nominees.

Melanie McLaughlin
What are the most important things in life to you?

Being the best person I can be during my time on this earth – to be the best mother, wife, sister, employee, friend and neighbour that I can. Since I’m here, I feel obliged to do my part to make our community and society a positive place.
 
Do you think Cayman will change much in the next decade? If so, how?
Undoubtedly, yes.  With the continuing breakdown of the family structure and values, I believe we are just now starting to see an increase in certain social problems because we failed to address them 10, 20 years ago. I believe this trend will escalate even further over the next decade.

What values do you think society needs to adopt to make it successful in the future?
Honesty and responsibility. Being honest with yourself leads to self-awareness and personal growth. Being honest with others builds trust that you will treat them fairly. Responsibility is living up to your obligations: to God, yourself, your family, friends, your work, everyone.   

How can we fire up our young people to make them want to live productive lives?
By setting the proper example and teaching them that the path to success and happiness is not measured in collecting material things, but in the quality of the relationships you develop in your life.

Felix Manzanares
What are the most important things to you?

My relationship with God, my family (wife, children and extended family) and using my gifts and talents to fulfill God’s purpose in my life. My relationship with God is the most important because He is the source of empowerment, wisdom, encouragement, love and compassion that equips me in my role as a husband, father and Pastor.  Having peace and love in my home is invaluable as well. 
 
The support and encouragement that I receive from my family is so important that it works as the engine that drives me to pursue my goals and dreams and live out my purpose.

Do you think Cayman will change much in the next decade? If so why?
The world on a whole faces a lot challenges today, in particular the economic crisis and global warming. Though these issues are vitally important, I feel that Cayman faces a much bigger issue as evidence by our social decay and social implosion. Increasing numbers of high school dropout delinquency, gangs and anti social behaviour and the rampant acts of lawlessness that we most recently experiencing. These are the issues that will determine the direction of change in our country. The youth are not the future, they are the present. They need to be inspired, empowered and encourage having a vision for themselves and striving for it. They need to know that change begins with an individual and in the words of Ghandi, “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”  Cayman has been changing and will continue to change but strategies, policies and actions taken now by people of Cayman at large will chart the future course of our nation.
 
What values do you think society needs to adopt to make it successful in the future?
We need to place a greater emphasis on the importance of family and family values; it’s the basic building block of a society. If families change then communities change and a nation is transformed. Parents need to know that they are instrumental in forming the attitudes and characteristics of the youth of our nation. As the saying goes “the hand the rocks the cradle rules the world”. Parents are strategic in forming the identity of our youth fostering an environment of security and trust. Therefore it is my conviction that family values are most needed to ensure social peace, prosperity and the pursuit of happiness.

How can we fire up our young people to live productive lives?
We must communicate to our youth that they are valuable, that they have a purpose that has been uniquely given to them and that our country is waiting for them to take their rightful place in our within our nation. They not only have to value themselves but also our nation because unless one values something one would not see it fit to contribute to its growth and development. The youth need to value our culture, heritage and what it means to be Caymanian and see that they play an important role in sustaining who we are. Additionally, we need to create and support opportunities for our young people to channel their energy and to use their gifts and talents to express themselves in a positive way. If young people can see themselves as Nelson Mandela envisioned (We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?) then and only then can they harness the greatness within them.

Krishan Welcome
What are the most important things in life to you?

Relationships are the most important things in my life. First and foremost is my relationship with God, then my relationships with my family and friends. I believe that it is through relationships that we come to know the full joy, satisfaction and fulfilment of this life.
 
Do you think Cayman will change much in the next decade? If so, how?
I’m hoping that Cayman becomes more environmentally conscious in the coming years and I believe that it will.  We have a beautiful country and in the coming decade I think we will see more eco-friendly initiatives across all areas, including development, tourism and in the average home.
 
What values do you think society needs to adopt to make it successful in the future?
One of the most unfortunate aspects of our modern society is an overriding concern for self.  I would love to see society adopt an attitude of considering others better than ourselves as this would create a more cohesive and compassionate society.  As the poem goes, “No man is an island entire of itself”.
 
How can we fire up our young people to make them want to live productive lives?
I believe that we need to get young people more involved in the community and this must be encouraged from an early age.  Unfortunately, most of the entertainment available to young people today isolates them from their immediate community, for example i-pods, computer games and television.
 
Community involvement takes young people outside themselves to focus on others whether it be teammates in a sporting activity or people in need in a volunteer activity. In my experience, previously unmotivated young people involved in such activities find a sense of achievement and motivation and I am often surprised by how often they then take ownership of their involvement and direct the way in which they would like to help.  

Tammy Ebanks Bishop
What are the most important things in life to you?

The most important things to me are my faith and the connections that I have made along the way in life. My faith is a mindset that drives me to be an eternal optimist. It means that I do what is possible and within my ability, and then I let go to let God clear a path by opening the doors and windows that I do not see in order to do what seemed impossible. Also, the personal connections and support systems I have established throughout my life with my family and friends.  They are irreplaceable and without them life would be meaningless.  

Do you think Cayman will change much in the next decade? If so, how?
Absolutely. Change is a part of life and it is a part of culture. Neither one is static. If Cayman were a person, I think that it would be going through the teenage and early adult years during the next decade. There will be many mistakes to make and learning curves to adapt to but I am hopeful that we will see many positive changes blossoming in our future. Constitutional changes will be not only be in the political arena; they will affect how we as citizens and residents are governed and interact with our government.  Additionally, I think that we will continue to see change in our culture in that we have a generation of young people coming up that are not as passive as our traditional fore bearers of yesteryear. They have grown up in a different Cayman and they are willing to stand up, be assertive and speak out about issues that affect them or issues that are unpopular or neglected.  

What values do you think society needs to adopt to make it successful in the future?
I think that adopting the value of holistic well-being as a lifestyle is the most important thing anyone can do to contribute to our society. If we as individuals are committed to nurturing our minds, bodies and spirits positively then we would be pleasantly surprised what a difference that would make not only in our lives but in the lives of others and our society. We would all reap the benefits of a more successful society. It is also extremely important that we embrace tolerance as a value. Cayman has become and will continue to be a cultural melting pot, and unless we as a society learn how to strike a harmonious balance of celebrating and respecting our culture and being tolerant of those that live in our society, then we will continue to experience social strife. Honest and respectful communication is the bridge that will help us strike this balance and enhance tolerance.   

How can we fire up our young people to make them want to live productive lives?
We have to make the time to connect with and mentor our young people. There has to be a positive guide in their lives for them to be able to turn to that they trust. Whether that is a parent, family member or other mentor, it doesn’t matter as much as what that positive connection can mean for them. They have to be encouraged to be who they are and to follow whatever dreams they have. Dreams are the windows to the world and hope is not a dream but a way of making dreams come true.  If we can teach our young people to aspire to greatness by instilling in them the following three things- the ability to dream; the ability to be moved to action; and the ability to remain resilient and faithful when things don’t go as planned- then they will contribute in unbelievable ways to our society.

Collin Anglin
What are the most important things in life to you?

Walking humbly with my God, enjoying and appreciating the wonderful relationships I’ve been blessed to experience with my wife, family and friends, doing my best to live at peace with my fellow human beings and making a positive difference in the lives of those I come in contact with; being an inspiration and a good example to those growing up just as I was inspired when I was growing up.

Do you think Cayman will change much in the next decade? If so, how?  
The only thing constant is change itself and Cayman has already changed so much since I was younger. I see Cayman continuing to grow in its diversity, pace and infrastructure. My main concern is that in all our development we do not let the true spirit of Cayman, our traditions and what we stand for change as well. We must remain true to who we are.

What values do you think society needs to adopt to make it successful in the future?
I believe we need to return to some of our traditional values that we seem to have shifted our focus from over the past few years; though our generation has advanced tremendously, there are many simple traditional teachings that would cause all aspects of our society to flourish. I’ve always lived my life by God’s teachings and it has enabled me to be very successful, happy, challenged, motivated, and strong enough to endure times of adversity. When we all lived by these core values our society was more peaceful, more loving and therefore the success of the country was inevitable.

How can we fire up our young people to make them want to live productive lives?
By doing more of what the YCLA organisation is doing; promoting, rewarding and highlighting the positive attributes and qualities that we desire to see more of in our people.  If they see how much the country values good character and good qualities they will no doubt seek to emulate it.  We also need to show them how much we dislike undesirable behaviour and qualities so that they will be motivated to not follow in negative paths.

YCLA-Sm

The Five Finalists for the 2010 Young Caymanian Leadership Awards will be honoured at the annual gala event at the Ritz-Carlton on Saturday, February 20th. Live telecast begins on Cayman27 at 7pm. Shown left to right are: Feliz Manzanares, Tammy Ebanks Bishop, Krishan Welcome, Melanie McLaughlin and Collin Anglin. For more information email ycla@candw.ky

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