The 14th Annual Bahamas Outstanding Students Foundation (BOSF) Ceremony was held at Agape Christian School’s Grace Gym on April 13.
Under the theme, “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize,” approximately 200 students from private and government schools in the Abaco district were recognized for their academic and athletic accomplishments.
Master of Ceremony – William “Tony” Davis, who serves as the Abaco OSAF Coordinator, welcomed all in attendance. He also recognized specially invited guests at the ceremony inclusive of parents, students, administrators and principals, committee members and the media, and expressed gratitude to every one of BOSF’s sponsors.
He encouraged the parents to stay until the end of the event to support the students’ accomplishments.
“They have stayed the course, so this is their night,” Davis acknowledged. “Stay here and celebrate with them.”
Students from the Kiwanis Club of Central Abaco’s Key Club led in the National Anthem and Pledge. Destiny Adderley of Cooper’s Town Primary School gave the invocation.
Tianna Bootle, student of the year at Central Abaco Primary School (CAPS), recited a poem called, “You Can.”
First in the line of greetings and remarks were those of District Superintendent Dominique Russell.
“An educated Bahamas is a prosperous Bahamas,” District Superintendent Russell assured.
While she noted that it is important for children to be educated, District Superintendent Russell added that it is equally important for them to know the Creator, who is God. She told the students that an education combined with a relationship with God can take them further than they could ever imagine. She ended her remarks by commending the administrators, teachers, parents and organizers of the event.
Continuing his remarks, Davis read a message of encouragement congratulating the honourees on behalf of MP for South Abaco James Albury in his absence. He also offered apologies on behalf of MP for North Abaco Darren Henfield and Senior Island Administrator Maxine Duncombe, who showed up later at the ceremony.
Davis went on to explain that every year the Governor General is the patron of the event, and that the event is also held under the patronage of the Ministry of Education and the Rosie Archer Davis Foundation. Rosie Archer Davis was his mother.
It was soon time for the presentation of awards beginning with the Rising Star Sports Award for primary and high school students with the highest GPAs.
Students from Moore’s Island Comprehensive School; Crossing Rocks Primary School; James A. Pinder Primary School; Treasure Cay Primary School; Cooper’s Town Primary School; Fox Town Primary School; Man-O-War Primary School; Amy Roberts Primary School; Angels Academy; Long Bay School; Hope Town Primary School; Agape Christian School; St. Francis de Sales Catholic School; Central Abaco Primary School (CAPS); Patrick J. Bethel High School; and S.C. Bootle High School were all recognized.
As in previous years, there were a number of 4.0 students in their midst, namely: Alexandria Lederhause of Hope Town Primary School; and from Forest Heights Academy – Tierra Bethel; Ebany Hanna; Kate Sims; Nicola Roberts; Grace Swing; and Brianna Sweeting.
Toward the end of the ceremony, Former Sen. T. Ricardo Whylly, president and CEO of BOSF, made brief remarks.
“It is a pleasure for me to witness the shining stars of Abaco,” he remarked. “You have done well… You are in the right place at the right time doing the right thing that Abaco needs for its future.”
He added that Abaco is great because of the commitment and service of its people. He advised the students to encourage their peers, so that they, too, will one day be celebrated for their accomplishments.
Fmr. Sen. Whylly recalled how students used to have to travel to Government House from the islands to receive awards sometimes without their parents. Because of Davis’ heart for his people, it was decided that Abaco host its own awards ceremony.
“Fourteen years ago on this day…and the rest is history,” Fmr. Sen. Whylly said. “So parents this is the time to scream and shout because your child is being honoured for something good.”
Turning to Davis, he presented him with a Dedicated Service Award for his commitment to the building and development of students on Abaco and the Commonwealth of The Bahamas through BOSF. Davis was invited to accept the award at Government House back in 2015.
“Every year, you were promised that you would receive this award, but you have finally got it right here today,” Fmr. Sen. Whylly said as he presented Davis with the award.
After the presentation to Davis, students who participated in the raffle drawing received wonderful gifts, and prizes were also offered to District Superintendent Russell and Administrator Duncombe for their participation during the ceremony.
OSAF Committee Assistant and Kiwanian Neulessa Major offered the Vote of Thanks.
The benediction was given by Raisa Hamilton, a teacher of Central Abaco Primary School (CAPS) and a member of the Kiwanis Club of Central Abaco.