St. Andrew’s Students Wins Elmira College Essay & Speech Competition

NASSAU, Bahamas (November 23, 2015) – A 12th grade St. Andrew’s student’s idea to get Bahamians fit has won her $60,000 in scholarships to attend Elmira College in New York.

Janae Seymour beat out nine other students to walk away with the top prize during the 14th Annual Sunshine Insurance- Elmira College Essay & Speech Competition.

Her idea was to create a fitness gym dubbed BeriFit that would get the nation in shape.

She will receive $15,000 per year for four years.

Runners-up Leandria Albury, 15, of St Anne’s and David Allens, 15, and Maya Francis, 16, of Queen’s College each won $30,000 scholarships to attend Elmira College.

They will receive $7,500 per year for four years.

L-R Elmira College alumna and judge, Jade Williams, St. Anne’s student and finalist, Leandria Albury; QC student and finalist, Maya Francis; Elmira College alumnus and trustee, Franon Wilson; St Andrew’s student and overall winner, Janae Seymour; QC student and finalist, David Allens and Sunshine Insurance VP of Operations, Shelly Wilson. (Photo/Rogan Smith)

“I acknowledged how there is a health problem in The Bahamas. I just think we deserve better, particularly since we were recently ranked the sixth most obese country in the world, [according to 2014 World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics]. I thought I should implement a business that really focuses on our health,” said Ms. Seymour.

“I prepped alone. I feel like the best way to perform, in terms of speaking, is to really go over your speech over and over again and take into consideration all of the questions that could be asked.”

Ms. Seymour said Elmira College and the University of Richmond are her top two college choices. She plans to study marketing and accounting.

Vice-President of External Relations of Elmira College, Mike Rogers thanked Sunshine Insurance for its support over the years.

For the first time in the contest’s history, Elmira judges held the competition via teleconference.

“We’ve been proud to give away over $1.5 million worth of scholarships to Elmira College. We have lots of talented Bahamian students come to Elmira College because of this contest,” said Mr. Rogers.

“There were so many ideas that it took a little while to deliberate. We looked at not only how well you presented, but your writing, the way that you presented yourselves, the props that you bring in. We also considered how well you answered the questions, it’s a total package that we’re considering. It was so difficult because we had so many good competitors.

Many 10th, 11th and 12th graders were given the opportunity to submit essays during the competition.

However, only 10 students were selected to deliver speeches before a panel of judges in order to win scholarships that were awarded on Saturday.

The 10 finalists were: Janae Seymour, Patria Symonette, David Allens, Maya Francis, Bernique Pople, T’Shura Colebrooke, Brenelle Dixon, Leandria Albury, Myrah Kemp and Asia Davis.

The students were judged out of 100 points: communication skills and demonstration of knowledge accounted for 40 points each and originality and feasibility of idea accounted for 20 points.

Elmira College is a private, liberal arts college located in upstate New York.

It has been ranked as one of the top regional colleges by the 2014 edition of Best colleges.