6 May 2022, Basseterre, Saint Christopher (St Kitts) and Nevis – Students from three of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) member countries demonstrated their talents and creativity by capturing the top positions in the 2022 ECCB/RSS-ARU Creative Youth Competition.
This year’s competition, focused on Poetry and participants were required to submit a video presentation of the piece.
In the 13-16 age category, two students from the Commonwealth of Dominica, Carlisa George and Safiyah Ettienne, captured first and second places respectively. Carlisa represented the Portsmouth Secondary School, while Safiyah, the Convent High School. Both students impressed the judges with their pieces on the topic: Skills Equal Money.
Ashley Kallicharan of the Leon Hess Comprehensive Secondary School in Saint Lucia placed third with her poem penned on the topic, The Entrepreneur.
Asaiah Yankey of the Academix School of Learning, Commonwealth of Dominica cupped the first place in the 17 – 19 age category. Gariel Matthias from the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Community College was adjudged second, while Jayde Thomas of Sir Arthur Lewis Community College in Saint Lucia placed third. All three winners in the 17-19 category wrote their poems on the topic, My Vision for My Caribbean Home.
The ECCB and the Regional Security System-Asset Recovery Unit (RSS-ARU) are the sponsors of this competition.
The first place winners in each of the categories will be awarded a $3,000 cash prize and a grant of $2,000 will be awarded to their respective schools. The students who placed second will each receive $2,500 and their schools will be presented with a grant of $1,500. The third place winners will each receive $1,500 and their schools will be awarded a grant of $1,000.
The nine judges of the 2022 competition included poets, authors, entertainers and teachers from the eight ECCB member countries and one representative from the RSS-ARU.
The judges were:
1. Vanessa Croft, Anguilla;
2. Linisa George, Antigua and Barbuda;
3. Ian Jackson, Commonwealth of Dominica;
4. Kamille John, Grenada;
5. Chadd Cumberbatch, Montserrat;
6. Jihan Williams, Saint Christopher (St Kitts) and Nevis;
7. Kennedy Samuel, Saint Lucia;
8. Michael Peters, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; and
9. Debra Wilkinson of the RSS-ARU.
Head Judge of the 17-19 category, Vanessa Croft said, “it was heart-warming to see that so many of the region’s youth are excited enough about poetry to enter the competition. It is my hope that next year we have even more children realising their potential as creators and entering the competition”
Head Judge of the 13-16 category, Kamille John said, “working as Head Judge for the 13-16 category made me very excited. The creativity and thought displayed by the students were superb. The future of Caribbean poetic expression remains in good hands. I encourage them to continue to create and leave their indelible marks on the poetic landscape of the Caribbean.”
The ECCB/RSS-ARU Creative Youth Competition is part of the ECCB’s Community Outreach Programme, and is aimed at encouraging critical and innovative thinking and raising the awareness of secondary school and community college students in the ECCU on issues of economic and social development.
The winning poems and videos can be viewed on the ECCB website.
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