Essay Competitions In The Caribbean

Students and Schools Benefit from FCCA Foundation Children’s Essay Competition


Pembroke Pines, FL (August 12, 2016) - The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 FCCA Foundation Children’s Essay Competition. The competition invites students from schools around the Caribbean and Latin America to submit essays and then awards the students and schools to help further their education. In total, this year’s contest will provide nearly $20,000 to the participating students and their schools.


“There is nothing more fulfilling than helping children, and I am proud of all the ways the FCCA Foundation achieves this,” said Michele Paige, President, FCCA. “The Essay Competition is particularly special because it directly benefits children’s futures and encourages them to continue striving in their scholastic endeavors, while helping their schools develop more exceptional students.”


This year’s essay contest attracted entries from 21 countries, who wrote what they would want to see and do in their destination as a cruise passenger. All the essays showcased the students’ excellence in writing, as well as knowledge of their destination and the ability to entice the FCCA readers to experience new things.


Understandably, it was difficult to choose winners, but first, second and third place was awarded to participants from the junior division, consisting of students between nine- and 12-years-old, and the senior division, featuring students between 13 and s16. The 2014 winners are:


First place in the junior division was Janae Elisha Rodriguez from Belize, and Jacinth Hunkins from St. Maarten took the gold in the senior division. The first-place winners and their schools will receive $3,000 academic scholarships, and the winners and a chaperone will be invited to accept their prizes at the FCCA Caribbean Cruise Conference & Trade Show Opening Ceremony in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Tuesday, September 26.


Second place in the junior division was Danny Kish from Cayman Islands, and Hailey Morris from St. Kitts earned the honors in the senior division. Second-place winners and their schools will receive $1,500 scholarships.


Third place in the junior division was Jordan Fleming from St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Alanis Matos Plá from Puerto Rico took bronze in the senior division. Third-place winners and their schools will receive $1,000 scholarships.


To reward all the students and schools for their great efforts, all other finalists and their schools will receive $200 scholarships.


The FCCA and the FCCA Foundation is proud to offer opportunities like these to assist the youths in its partner destinations throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.


About the FCCA Foundation
The FCCA Foundation provides a tangible mechanism for the cruise industry to fund a range of humanitarian causes in Caribbean and Latin American destinations. Since its establishment in 1993, the Foundation has benefited thousands of citizens by providing funding and countless hours to causes and charities throughout the regions. In addition to assisting deserving institutions like charities and hospitals and aiding during crises like natural disasters, the Foundation executes annual projects, including the Holiday Gift Project, which delivers thousands of presents and smiles to underprivileged children during the holiday season, and poster and essay competitions to award students and schools.

The FCCA is a not-for-profit trade organization composed of 19 Member Lines operating over 100 vessels in Floridian, Caribbean and Latin American waters. Created in 1972, the FCCA’s mandate is to provide a forum for discussion on tourism development, ports, safety, security, and other cruise industry issue and to develop bilateral relationships with destinations’ private and public sectors. By fostering an understanding of the cruise industry and its operating practices, the FCCA works with governments, ports and private sector representatives to maximize cruise passenger, crew and cruise line spending, as well as enhance the destination experience and increase the amount of cruise passengers returning as stay-over visitors. For more information, visit, the FCCA on Facebook, and @FCCAupdates on Twitter.


Little did Trinidadian university student Kara John know that she would be awarded an internship at the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) local office as her prize for winning the multilateral institution’s Caribbean essay competition.

She was recently announced the winner by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde during a students’ forum at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Campus, in St Andrew, Jamaica.

The runners-up were Immaculate Conception High School student Tajha Winkle; and UWI students Wendel Ivey, Shannique Rhoden and Keenan Falconer.

The competition, which was held under the theme Inclusive and Resilient Growth in the Caribbean, was launched in early October and open to young nationals aged 18 to 25 from the English-speaking Caribbean and Haiti. It was aimed at providing young people with the opportunity to articulate their views on how their welfare and that of the general region can be improved.

John, who studies law at the UWI’s Cave Hill Campus in Barbados, said she entered the competition because she saw where it could serve to advance her career plans.

“I like development, so I hope to one day pursue a Master’s Degree in Development Studies or move on to international law. I am concerned about development in the Caribbean and the world as a whole, (and) there are ways in which (it) can help to develop the nations in the regions,” she says.

John notes that she has plans to work for an organisation such as the IMF, and views the internship opportunity as a stepping stone towards accomplishing that. She is of the view that the IMF endeavours to assist small island developing states (SIDS) like those in the Caribbean with economic development, despite many of the Fund’s critics.

“They aim to make our societies economically better, especially the policies that they help to put in place, as well as with the other (forms of assistance) that they (offer),” John said.

In her remarks at the forum, Lagarde said many of the competition’s entrants demonstrated “immense economic understanding coupled with a deeply rooted understanding of the Caribbean society.

“They (students) took into account external shocks and also looked at entrenched factors… specific to the Caribbean that prevent growth from really flourishing and being of sustainable quality.”

Lagarde said John’s essay was “top-notch,” as it addressed “a lack of social justice, lack of political unity in the region and a linear approach to development as the critical bottlenecks to growth.”

Additionally, IMF MD said the competition’s judges “were most impressed by the essay’s quality.” She also addressed issues relating to the IMF’s role in improving the standard of living in countries with which it partners; the role of the private sector in providing jobs and public-sector reform.

(Reporting by Chad Bryan)

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