Young Achiever: sharpest minds tackle fintech

  • Cutting edge: Gladstone Thompson, executive director of Dynamic Debaters and Learners, left, with Fintech Challenge participants Salayah Stange, Presle’zha Millwood, Chechulae Dowling, Zaire Lodge, Shenessa Maylor, Vanessa Gilbert, Raina de Fontes, Ywione Darrell, and assistant coaches Yahnick Barclay and Glenn Simmons. Students missing from photograph are Christopher Jackson, Giselle Concepcion and Robert Thomas (Photograph by Renae Stampp)

    Cutting edge: Gladstone Thompson, executive director of Dynamic Debaters and Learners, left, with Fintech Challenge participants Salayah Stange, Presle’zha Millwood, Chechulae Dowling, Zaire Lodge, Shenessa Maylor, Vanessa Gilbert, Raina de Fontes, Ywione Darrell, and assistant coaches Yahnick Barclay and Glenn Simmons. Students missing from photograph are Christopher Jackson, Giselle Concepcion and Robert Thomas (Photograph by Renae Stampp)


Some of the sharpest young minds in Bermuda are learning about new technology on the Fintech Challenge.

The three-month project, hosted by Dynamic Debaters and Learners, includes speeches from fintech experts and a chance for pupils to talk about the cutting-edge financial technology industry.

Zaire Lodge, 14, from Somersfield Academy, said: “I’m glad that I was given the opportunity to do this challenge because it has given me new knowledge that I would probably never think to learn about.

“Since fintech is going to be such a big industry in the future, learning and possibly getting skills for it could help me in the future getting a job or going to school.”

Salayah Stange, 14, from Bermuda High School, said: “I know that it is going to be a very big industry. I want to be immersed in the financial status of Bermuda and everything to do with finance and banking because I want to be an actuary.

“Although fintech sounds like a big term and a very scary word that people might not understand yet, they will in the future.”

Presle’zha Millwood, 17, from Morning Glory Home- school, said: “I felt very honoured to get the opportunity to learn about fintech because I have never heard of it before. I want to be a lawyer so I get to learn about more things. It is a great opportunity.”

Speakers so far have included David Burt, the Premier, national security minister Wayne Caines and national security permanent secretary Collin Anderson.

Twelve pupils from high schools across the island are taking part in the programme. Participants will share their knowledge with other pupils at a symposium on March 31 and debate on April 7.

Gladstone Thompson, executive director of Dynamic Debaters and Learners, wants those involved to be able to explain fintech to younger pupils.

He said: “They are going to have the intelligence to share with their peers because we believe that they will have the right language, the expression, the patience.

“We are going to do our best to ensure that people understand what’s really going on. It has to be about information. They will have a way of breaking it down into ordinary layman’s language.”

Mr Thompson added: “We can be the Silicon Valley, but we need to have our youth engaged in the whole process. If we are serious about it, everybody has to pay attention to it.”

A grant from HSBC bank funded the programme and the youngsters will write an essay about their findings for submission to the company.

Glenn Simmons, assistant coach with Dynamic Debaters and Learners, said: “We want the students to have access to some of the individuals who play a specific role in the fintech ecosystem.

“This knowledge can be transferred to employment opportunities, to research skills, a lot of the skills that they gain can be transferred for university, for jobs, even for entrepreneurship as well.

“Some of them might be inspired from this fintech challenge to want to start their own company.

“You just never know where this knowledge may take the students in the medium to long term.”

The schools involved are Mount Saint Agnes Academy, Saltus Grammar School, Somersfield Academy, Chatmore International, Berkeley Institute, CedarBridge Academy, Morning Glory Homeschool and Bermuda High School.

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Published Dec 31, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 31, 2018 at 7:34 am)

Young Achiever: sharpest minds tackle fintech

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