Four Students Win S.I. Essay Competition

Lyford Cay International School student Britani Silvera is the grand champion of the 2017 Sunshine Insurance – Elmira College Essay competition.

Silvera won a $60,000 scholarship to attend Elmira College in New York.

The announcement was made Monday.

The 16-year-old tenth grader presented an idea for Earthlings – a sustainable clothing company.

Noting that the clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world and human rights violations persist in places like Cambodia, China and Bangladesh, she proposed to create a sustainable, fair trade clothing company in The Bahamas that would advocate for and enforce healthy working conditions for workers and ensure that the environment is protected.

“Once I heard that I won, I was excited and even speechless for the first time. Winning this competition is amazing and would definitely be one of my happiest moments. My future looks great,” said Ms. Silvera.

“I am passionate about writing, but this was actually my first writing competition. I recently joined the Writing Club at school and the leaders encouraged me to participate in this one just to get my writing out there. I loved the essay topic because I am really interested in sustainability and future development. After re-writing the essay several times, I was confident that I would do well.”

The three runners-up included Yana Swain of Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Academy, Rakell Riley of Central Andros High School and Jason Deveaux of Jordan Prince William.

The trio will each receive $30,000 scholarships to attend the school.
Each of the students presented their essays via teleconference for seven minutes. Following the presentations, local judges, as well as judges from Elmira, grilled the students on their ideas during a Q&A section.

There were 10 finalists this year.

Elmira College has awarded nearly $2 million in scholarships to Bahamian students.

“Firstly, I would like to congratulate our Sunshine Insurance partner, Elmira College on another successful essay competition. Elmira’s generosity which is now in its 15th consecutive year, has afforded many of the finest Bahamian students with an excellent opportunity to attend its prestigious college,” said Sunshine Insurance President, Paul McWeeney.

“Secondly, Sunshine Insurance congratulates Britani Silvera on an amazing win. We also congratulate the three runners-up, Yana Swain, Rakell Riley and Jason Deveaux, whom I understand, really impressed the judges. I recognize with gratitude the many students, several of whom had to travel to Nassau, who took the time to enter our competition to present and conceptualize their ideas. All of the students who entered the competition are winners in my view, with the aforementioned students having been selected as the “best of the best.” I encourage all of you to continue pursuing your dreams. We look forward to returning next year and helping more Bahamian children achieve their goals of higher learning.”