Sunday March 24, 2013 marked the pinnacle of my personal achievements when I shared the stage with the seventh Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Honorable Portia Simpson-Miller, ON, MP. My walk to the platform as one of the recipients of the Prime Minister Youth Award in the category of International Achievement was welcomed by applause from the audience and resounding shouts of ‘That’s my boy!’, ‘That’s my boy!’, that’s my boy!’ echoed by my mom like she did at my graduation ceremony a few months ago. Mrs. Simpson-Miller acknowledged my mom’s shout of joy when she said, “she is very proud of you Kimroy and she has all rights to be”. She continued her hand shake while handing me the prestigious award for representing of our beautiful island at numerous international engineering competitions while attending The University of Technology, Jamaica. My interaction with the Prime Minister was not complete until she gave me my congratulatory hug and warm kiss on my left cheek before I was escorted off the stage by a scout.
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The 2013 staging of the Prime Minister’s Youth Award for Excellence, an award second only to the Governor General’s Award is considered the most esteemed of its kind in the country. Consequently it was an honor to even be nominated to sit among some of Jamaica’s most innovative young visionaries. During my interactions and casual conversations with the nominees I realized that numerous practical solution to Jamaica’s various problems was embedded in our thoughts which speaks volumes about the quality of the award. .
The grand event which highlighted the achievements of young Jamaicans ages of 15 to 24, was organized by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) which is a department in the Ministry of Youth and Culture. The awards were presented at The Emancipation Park in Kingston in front of a large audience under the theme, ‘Youth on a Mission…Project 2062’. Youths ages 15 to 24 years old were nominated in the following areas: Academics, Sports, Journalism, Youth in Service, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, International Achievement, Agriculture and Arts and Culture. 44 individuals and I were awarded for the years 2011 and 2012 .
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The large crowd at the New Kingston venue was addressed by the Minister of Youth and Culture, Lisa Hanna, who in addition to motivating the audience and nominees ,paid special tribute to the impact the first female Prime Minister has had on her development over the years. The audience was also inspired by a compelling speech by our esteemed Prime Minister, who diverted from her speech a few times to share personal stories which stirred my passions and induced a drive to never give up nor give in. Both ladies addressed the fact that those nominated represented the future of our nation and how important the youths are to the development of our beloved nation. The Prime Minister also spoke of her pride in our accomplishments and encouraged us to we keep making our marks regardless of the circumstances that surround us or the obstacles in our path.
In addition to the speeches and presentations of awards, there were an number of entertainment items including performances by the National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC), Romaine Virgo who was also among the awardees, Christopher Martin, Kevin Downswell , young Remone Watson and the Immaculate Conception High School for Girls Orchestra that boasts over 70 instruments and musicians. This 2013 award marks another milestone, another goal achieved for which I would like to thank the Heavenly Father for guiding my development. I would love to dedicate this award to the University of Technology Engineering Graduating class of 2012, the UTech Robotics Team, my family and supporters: TeamKB, Keep Believing, Keep your head up and Keep Dreaming.