Photos by: Eric Wallace, Glass Window Studios.

During the month of October, which is recognized and celebrated annually across The Bahamas as ‘Youth Month’, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture in Eleuthera, took the opportunity to spotlight the achievements and accomplishments of both students and young adults throughout the communities on the island.

This recognition was touted and celebrated on Sunday evening, October 22nd, 2023, during an ‘Awards Night’ event, hosted at the Workers House Ballroom in Governor’s Harbour. ‘YES… Youth Excellence is the Standard’, the national theme chosen for this year’s youth month, was meant to embody the character and spirit of the more than one hundred selected awardees honoured on Sunday.


Young people and those who work with youth were recognized in the areas of Academics (Primary, Junior High, Senior High and College), Religion, Sports, Agriculture, Leadership, Entrepreneurship, The Environment, Art and Culture, Personal Triumph, Governance, Volunteerism, Youth Organizations, and Youth Ally.

Welcoming the ‘full house’ of awardees, along with their supportive family, friends and community members, were moderators for the evening, Anishka Fernander-George (Eleuthera Youth Council member) along with her six-year-old daughter Arianna Fernander (a fearless grade 2 student at Emily Petty Primary school).


In addition to the special awards presentations, the audience enjoyed a national anthem instrumental performance by CEHS band members, Aretha and Ellis Culmer, as well as an impromptu drill presentation by the South Eleuthera Royal Youth Corp – headed by Officer Renardo Brown, and a junkanoo rushout by the Governor’s Harbour Cultural Community Organization’s (GHCCO) Showtime Junkanoo group.

Offering words of congratulations, encouragement and support to the night’s honourees – were, District Education Officer, Mrs. Fontella Knowles; South Eleuthera Administrator Florence Pratt-Meyers; Central Eleuthera Administrator Rochelle Anderson; as well as North Eleuthera’s Asst. Administrator Audrey Burrows – all brought remarks ahead of the evening’s special guest speaker, Pastor Clarice Thompson of Global Outreach Ministries – who further charged the young audience to continue to embrace excellence.


Mrs. Fernander-George in her role as a member of the Eleuthera Youth Council, which assisted the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture’s team with the coordination of the Youth Awards Night, commented on the evening, saying, “Tonight went well. We were so excited to see all the kids come out. Most of them were well represented here by their families, and it shows that people are really getting involved. I like that part – even when it came to those outside of the academic arena – like youth in leadership, agriculture, entrepreneurship, youth and environment – it was so good… We are just looking to see more and more people get their hands involved with our youth. All is not lost, and that is what we are vying for – all is not lost.”


2023 National Youth Awardees for Eleuthera included:

Academics – Primary

(South Eleuthera District)
Camren Carey – Tarpum Bay Primary
Quinae Carey – Tarpum Bay Primary
Paris Symonette – Rock Sound Primary
Rachel Pata – Rock Sound Primary
Tayshawn Brown – Deep Creek Primary
Marvin Gibson Jr. – Deep Creek Primary
Tamia Whylly – Green Castle Primary
Teran Mackey Jr. – Wemyss Bight Primary
J’Mari Kemp – Weyss Bight Primary

(Central Eleuthera District)
Sirena Carey – Emma Cooper Primary
Eva Ajul – Emma Cooper Primary
Bea Cooper – Emily Petty Primary
Gabriel Fox – Emily Petty Primary
Gabrielle Gray – P.A. Gibson Primary
Janoa Penn – P.A. Gibson Primary
Taylin Minnis – Gregory Town Primary
Surdanio Sands – Gregory Town Primary

(North Eleuthera District)
Khyien Johnson – Laura Anderson Primary
Katelyn Neely – Laura Anderson Primary
Kaa’sim Roberts – Harbour Island All Age
Journee Roberts – Harbour Island All Age
Kye Higgs – Samuel Pinder All Age
Raylie Pinder – Samuel Pinder All Age

Academics – Junior High

De’Anntae Hepburn – Preston Albury High
Rotayvia Butler – Deep Creek Middle School
Jonathan Thompson-Stone – Deep Creek Middle School
Tamia Knowles – Central Eleuthera High
Eckward Ferguson – Central Eleuthera High
Alyssa Stuart – Harbour Island All Age
Kelsey Farquharson – Harbour Island All Age
Josiah Cartwright – North Eleuthera High
Tiara Johnson – North Eleuthera High
Violet Russell – Samuel Pinder All Age
Wes Underwood – Samuel Pinder All Age

Academics – Senior High

Nathalia Saunders – Preston Albury High
Gabriel Ajul – Central Eleuthera High
Kezia Johnson – North Eleuthera High
Joel Kemp – North Eleuthera High
Jaiell Winder – Harbour Island All Age
Ryan Bosfield – Harbour Island All Age
Brettesha Sands – Samuel Pinder All Age
Nehemiah Joseph – Samuel Pinder All Age

Academics – Outstanding Students at the College Level

Johnnecia Pinder – South Eleuthera
Tanai Sands
Santee Johnson

Youth in Religion

Lavardo Cooper – North Eleuthera
Ricardo Penn – North Eleuthera
Colby Pinder – North Eleuthera
Christopher Darling – Central Eleuthera
Donavon Rolle – South Eleuthera

Youth in Sports

Delano Armbrister – North Eleuthera
Juvens Jonnasaint – North Eleuthera
Bailey Pinder – North Eleuthera
Jazae Johnson – Central Eleuthera
Danero Connolly – Central Eleuthera
Sharado Sweeting – South Eleuthera

Youth in Agriculture

Phillicia Sands – South Eleuthera
Nyeka Tador – North Eleuthera
Ellenia Johnson – North Eleuthera
Mariah Pinder – North Eleuthera

Youth in Leadership

Edranique Thompson – South Eleuthera
Tyreka Smith – South Eleuthera
Antrea Coakley – South Eleuthera
Jarelle Stubbs – Central Eleuthera
Travis Newbold – North Eleuthera
Zakiya Gibson – North Eleuthera
Damari Johnson – North Eleuthera

Youth in Entrepreneurship

Shannon McKinney – South Eleuthera
Delores Cooper – South Eleuthera
Jada Burrows – South Eleuthera (Rising Star in Entrepreneurship)
Jameka Isaacs – Central Eleuthera
Christina Lesbott – Central Eleuthera (Rising Star in Entrepreneurship)
Rhashad Albury – North Eleuthera
Aloa Higgs – North Eleuthera
Keisha Sands – North Eleuthera

Youth in Environment

Eric Wallace – Central Eleuthera
Lexandre Charite – North Eleuthera
Kathlyn Cambridge – North Eleuthera

Youth in Art & Culture

Faith Knowles – Central Eleuthera
Roshawn Munroe – South Eleuthera
Brett Knowles – North Eleuthera
Canaan Curtis – North Eleuthera
Angelica Sawyer – North Eleuthera

Youth in Governance

McGregor Young – South Eleuthera
Carleah Culmer – Central Eleuthera
Dahlia Sturrup – North Eleuthera
Jacquirra Sawyer – North Eleuthera
Junette Albury – North Eleuthera

Youth Personal Triumph

Tamia Knowles – Central Eleuthera
Tinisha Miller – North Eleuthera
Alisha Johnson – North Eleuthera
Sonja Pinder – North Eleuthera

Youth in Community Volunteerism

Luciano Cash – North Eleuthera
Breon Neely – North Eleuthera
Kayston Pinder – North Eleuthera
Andrenique McKinney – South Eleuthera
Marcellus Pyfrom – South Eleuthera (Rising Star in Community Volunteerism)

Youth Organization Award

Preston Albury High School Band (led by Mrs. Portia Kemp) – South Eleuthera
Eleuthera Royal Youth Corp (led by Corporal Renardo Brown) – South Eleuthera
Governor’s Harbour Cultural and Community Organization (GHCCO) – Central Eleuthera
The Young Life Club – North Eleuthera
Harbour Island Sailing Club – North Eleuthera
Brittany Newbold – North Eleuthera

Youth Ally Award

Olive Sterling-Johnson – North Eleuthera
Mayzina Higgs – North Eleuthera
Brandon Newbold – North Eleuthera