On May 3, 2018 James Albury, Member of Parliament for Central and South Abaco and the Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, announced the winners of his inaugural MP Essay Competition at a brief service and reception at his office in the Government Complex.
In first place was Rachel Rolle, 15, of Forest Heights Academy.
In second place was Kathleen Mendoza, 17, of St. Francis de Sales.
In third place was Gerri Summers, 15, also from Forest Heights Academy.
Mr. Albury said he was “Proud of my first winners,” citing the excellence of their research and work. Among the reasons he initiated the essay contest was to “Give our exceptionally talented and driven students an outlet, opportunity and incentive.” It was also to help students refine their skills for higher education and to inspire them to take interest in their country.
There were cash prizes for the top three winners. $250 for third, $500 for second and the winner received a cheque for $1,000.
Mr. Albury said he intends to continue the contest to reach “the world of talent around us.” The three themes this year heavily featured history. However, in the future, other topics will be considered as well.
The three themes were:
1) The Formation of the Modern Bahamas
2) A History of Bahamian Political Parties to Present Day
3) The Westminster System of Government
Submissions were to be five to ten pages long and the competition was open to Abaconians ages 15-18 in the Central and South Abaco District.
The essays were judged by a panel of retired educators.
Speaking to the students in attendance at the reception Mr. Albury told them, “These critical writing and thinking skills will get you far.”
Rachel chose to research and write on “A History of Bahamian Political Parties to Present Day” because she realized she did not know much about it and found the topic to be a “Spectacular learning opportunity.” She wishes to pursue a career in education as a high school history teacher.
Kathleen wrote on “The Formation of the Modern Bahamas” to highlight how institutions and actions of the past, namely colonialism, still shape the country today. She aspires to be a nurse and has a passion for helping people.
Gerri also wrote on “A History of Bahamian Political Parties to Present Day” noting the nation’s growth as an independent country in such a short time. She recently developed an interest in pursuing a career as an attorney.
Mr. Albury ended by thanking the students’ parents, guardians and teachers, noting that they “are the reason they’ve become the people they are.”