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Teenager Morris earns XL Catlin Scholarship

Scholarship award: From left, are Patrick Tannock, XL Catlin Bermuda insurance operations leader and president of the XL Foundation Board of Directors, 2015 XL Catlin Scholar Shamar Morris, Vanessa Robinson, XL Catlin Scholarship Committee Chairwoman and Charles Cooper, XL Catlin Bermuda reinsurance operations leader.

Academic excellence and a wide variety of interests that include musicianship, sports and youth leadership, are among the qualities that have landed teenager Shamar Morris the 2015 XL Catlin Scholarship.

The former Somersfield Academy high honours student graduates from Bermuda High School this year.

He is due to begin studying for a Bachelor of Science degree in Acturial Science at the University of Toronto later this year, and he plans to pursue a career as an actuary in the re/insurance industry and to become a Fellow in the Society of Actuaries.

Mr Morris, 18, of Hamilton Parish, was one of 51 applicants for the XL Catlin Scholarship, which is a four-year full scholarship open to students who are Bermudian or hold Permanent Resident Certificate status and are working toward a degree in (re) insurance-related studies.

“As in previous years, we had a shortlist of high-calibre candidates,” said XL Catlin Scholarship Committee chairwoman Vanessa Robinson.

“Shamar stood out based on his clear vision of his career path, his academic achievements as well as his musical and other extra-curricular accomplishments.

“We are confident that he will do well at university and look forward to welcoming him as an intern during the summers.

“Based on his track record so far, we have no doubt that Shamar will reach his goals and be an asset to both XL Catlin and the re/insurance industry at large.”

Mr Morris has a passion for mathematics and he has achieved high grades throughout his schooling, particularly during his second year of the International Baccalaureate Programme at BHS.

During the two-year programme he took a demanding set of courses including mathematics, music and economics at the Higher Level and Spanish, English and environmental systems & societies at the Standard Level alongside a course in Theory of Knowledge, a comprehensive CAS (Creativity, Service and Action) extra-curricular schedule and an independent extended essay in music.

He has been a piano student for 14 years and a violin student for 11 years.

Mr Morris was nominated this year for the Outstanding Teen Performing Arts Award and has been a mentor for younger students at the Bermuda School of Music, volunteering as a violin and piano tutor. He has also participated as a violinist in the Bermuda School of Music tours in Michigan, Boston and Charlotte, North Carolina.

Beyond his academic and music accomplishments, he has been a member of the Youth Parliament since 2011 and served as the Youth Speaker of the House.

He was recently selected by Youth Parliament Bermuda as one of two nominees to attend the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association observances of Commonwealth Day in London, UK.

Shamar has also represented Bermuda at the Model United Nations conference in New York City in 2012. He has a Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award, is a member of the Bermuda Squash Racquet Association and was a student at the Wing Lamb Kung Fu School from 2002 to 2011.

Community service activities also feature in Mr Morris’s resume. He worked on the Bermuda National Trust Tivoli Restoration project and volunteered at the Matilda Smith Nursing home. He also helped to build a school in Puerto Plata, in the Dominican Republic, and worked on a restoration project at a Haitian refugee camp in 2012.