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Students are ‘fine examples of what is right in Bermuda’

A spotlight has been shone on children who represent ‘what is right in Bermuda'.

Thirty-nine students from 29 schools were honoured for their “exemplary citizenship” at the 2013 Young Citizens Awards luncheon in the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel.

“Too often we are inundated with adverse media reports of our children involved in immoral and antisocial behaviour,” said Wayne Scott, Minister for Community and Cultural Development. “Lost among those stories are the stories that illustrate our students' achievements and admirable work in our community.”

Mr Scott said the award winners, who were nominated by their peers, represented “fine examples of what is right in Bermuda.”

“Bermuda's future is now and the students we are honouring here today are already stepping-up and doing their best to build a better Bermuda.”

Flanked by her parents and school Principal, Rachel Mello-Cann, 10, was nominated for her fairness, good behaviour, and being a “peacemaker” among her classmates.

Between spoonfuls of whip-cream topped Jell-O, the St David's Primary School student said she enjoys setting a good example for other students in her class.

“I do the right thing in class. Like, I finish my work in time and help people out. I like helping people get all their work done, just like me.”

Rachel's Principal, Gladstone Thompson, said the awards ceremony was “extremely important” in recognising young role models like Rachel, and that people like her “are going to make our Island strong.”

“It's an opportunity to say to the students: this is the reward for being a really good citizen,” said Mr Thompson.

“Rachel is a sweet darling of a child. She always has been. She is someone who really listens to the teacher, is never in trouble, sits quietly, does all of her work, loves to be generous on the playground.”

Mr Thompson pointed to Rachel's parents, Robin and Rowena Mello-Cann, as being “good role models for our community.”

“They've raised three children and all of them are very well behaved. And so its this type of family structure that makes society strong. The fact that's being acknowledged is a great thing. I think we take that for granted. I think we're more apt to highlight where the faults are instead of really highlighting where the strengths are. I believe we have more strengths than weaknesses and this is a celebration of the strengths of the citizenship of Bermuda. It's a really wonderful, wonderful opportunity.”

Mr Mello-Cann said his family's religion is the foundation upon which they build.

“We belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Part of our doctrine, our teachings, is to be good citizens, to love our neighbour as ourselves, to serve one another as Jesus did. And I think that those teachings are reflected in our lives.”

The United Nations General Assembly recommended that all countries institute a Universal Children's Day to be observed as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children. A statement from the United Nations acknowledges, “That we were all children once. And we all share the desire for the well-being of our children, which has always been and will continue to be the most universally cherished aspiration of humankind.”

Shining examples: Recipients of the Young Citizen of the Year Awards with Minister of Community Culture and Sports Wayne Scott following an awards ceremony at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess.
<p>The award winners</p>

2013 Young Citizens Award-winners:

Arianna Brown — Elliott Primary School

Megestic Butterfield — Victor Scott Primary School

Jayden Cheeseman — East End Primary School

Lily Crofts — Somersfield Academy (Primary)

D’Naszaye Evans — Prospect Primary School

Jamin Fubler — Somerset Primary School

Gian Carlos Gutierrez — West End Primary School

Matthew Jessey — Purvis Primary School

Ezequiel Jimenez — Northlands Primary School

Caleb McDowell — Saltus Grammar School (Primary)

Rachel Mello-Cann — St David’s Primary School

Elena Menendez-Sanchez — Paget Primary

Sierra Mouchette — Heron Bay Primary School

Alia Peets — Harrington Sound Primary School

Leila Prado — Bermuda High School (Primary)

Carrigan Richards — Warwick Academy (Primary)

Gabrielle Romaine — West Pembroke Primary School

India Shrinarine — Port Royal Primary School

Zea Swainson — Bermuda Institute (Primary)

Logan Thompson — Gilbert Institute Primary School

DeAndre Todd — St George’s Preperatory School

Jehrai Tucker — Dalton E Tucker School

Natalie Young — Mount Saint Agnes Academy (Primary)

Sydney Bodenstab — Bermuda High School (Middle)

Lynn Corday — Warwick Academy (Middle)

Rachel DeCosta — Mount Saint Agnes (Middle)

Jay-Quan Dill — Clearwater Middle School

Antoine Rogers — Whitney Institute Middle School

Shane Rogers — Sandys Secondary Middle School

Zoe Skinner — Saltus Grammar School (Middle)

Khiyrah Smith — Dellwood Middle School

Maya Walker-Burrows — Bermuda Institute (Middle)

Hana Bushara — Somersfield Academy (Middle)

Reem Bushara — Bermuda High School (Senior)

Dejon Masters-Seaman — Bermuda Institute (Senior)

Zariah Desilva — Berkeley Institute

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Published November 21, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated November 21, 2013 at 4:59 pm)

Students are ‘fine examples of what is right in Bermuda’

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