• Shomari
    The 2013 Recipient

  • Garth Arch
    The 2012

  • YCLA in the community

  • The YCLA
    2013 Finalists

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Photos from our 2013

Our Mission:

To recognise outstanding young Caymanians who are making a significant contribution to society and who, through their achievements and actions, serve as positive role models for the youth of Cayman. By elevating these young leaders and their messages, we aim to provide hope, inspiration and encouragement for Cayman’s young people.

Congratulations to our 2013 Finalists!

Michael Blackburn, 22

Michael BlackburnMichael is a graduate of John Gray and is currently studying for his Associate Degree at UCCI. He is the After School Assistant and one of the Youth Leaders for the John Gray Memorial United Church, where he works with 4-12 year-old children. He is also a church youth leader for children aged 12-20. He has organised numerous youth activities for the United Church Council and is an avid basketball player. He enjoys spending time at the courts, speaking to young people, and in particular reaching those who need guidance. Michael also enjoys listening to Christian music and has recently started rapping with Pauze Entertainment, a local Christian group dedicated to singing and preaching the Gospel.

Marzeta Bodden, 27

MMelanie ScottMarzeta is a graduate of John Gray and is a senior marketing executive at Appleby. Marzeta holds an Associates degree in Accounting from UCCI and obtained a Bachlelor of Business Administration in Marketing and Finance from Florida International University in Miami. Marzeta also earned a Master of Science in Marketing Management from the University of Surrey in the UK. She is the Immediate Past President of Rotaract Blue, whose key platforms are disability awareness; HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness; healthy living; and environmental care and protection. Marzeta is also the 2012-2013 Assistant District Rotaract Representative for the Cayman Islands and serves as an advisor and mentor to the Cayman Islands clubs and their liaison to the District. She is also the 2012-2013 District 7020 Public Relations and Communications Chair. Marzeta is a member of the Cayman Islands Education Council where she is actively involved in the formulation and execution of national education policy. She was co-founder of Cayman Loves Children (now no longer active), a non-profit organisation dedicated to raising money for impoverished youth through the United Nations. She was also an active member and peer mentor of the Commonwealth Youth Parliament (Cayman Islands Branch).

Victor Crumbley, 27

Victor CrumbleyVictor is a graduate of John Gray and has a bachelor's degree in marketing from the University College of the Cayman Islands. Victor runs Dash Strategies, his own social marketing company incorporated to address youth development issues. Dash Strategies works with various public and private organisations advising on matters such as youth development policies to youth targeted local radio and television shows. Dash Strategies' first major project has been a scholarship and mentorship program for at-risk young men who would otherwise not pursue further education.

Victor is past President of the Rotaract Club of Grand Cayman and past President of the Students' Association. He has volunteered with a number of Government organisations, notably the Youth Services Unit and the Youth Commission. He is a Member of the First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman and is a volunteer literacy tutor at John Gray High School.

Shomari Scott, 34

Victor CrumbleyShomari holds a Bachelors of Business Administration (major:Marketing) from Stetson University, Florida. Shomari is the Director of Tourism for the Cayman Islands. Shomari has worked in tourism since he began as an intern in 1996 at CIDoT and joined the department full time after receiving his degree. His ascent through the organization is well known and spent the past four years as acting director before being named director. Despite his young age, his appointment to Director was met with universal approval from the private sector. Shomari personifies the very Caymanian hospitality he is charged with promoting in his professional life and under his leadership, dozens of young Caymanian tourism leaders are being developed and mentored; he is the leader of the Tourism Apprenticeship Training Program and also the youth Tourism Ambassador.

He is a keen sportsman and he is passionate about basketball - he played on the Cayman Islands National team for 10 years and over the past six years has coached both youth and men's basketball in his free time. Through the influence of his father who has been director and continues to work at Bonaventure Boys Home and his mother, a professional teacher, Shomari has used basketball as a way to give boys a positive focus, channeling energy into sport vs. less productive behaviors.

Melanie Scott, 32

Melanie ScottMelanie holds a Bachelor of Science in Government & World Affairs from the University of Tampa, and a Master of Education from Walden University. She is currently participating in the National Program for Specialist Leaders of Behaviour and Attendance. Melanie is a senior teacher at Creek and Spot Bay Primary School in Cayman Brac. In addition to her commitment to fostering an engaging and supportive learning environment for her students, Melanie is actively involved in our community. She is Secretary of the Business and Professional Women's Club, and was the founding member of the Cayman Brac Junior Culture Club and serves as the Club Secretary. Melanie is an active member of the international Reading Association. She has also co-ordinated numerous summer camps for the Cayman Brac National Trust.

Shomari 2013 Acceptence Speech

imageWhat do you say when bestowed with such an honor? Many special people touch and assist in the development of who you are and I am grateful to have the most influential of those persons with me tonight. My mother, my father, my grandmother, my grandfather, and more recently my beautiful wife, thank you. Thank you for all the sacrifices you have selflessly made in order to give access to the tools for success.

This is not a competition but a celebration, I send out my congratulations to my fellow nominees and all of the unsung leaders of our community. I salute the YCLA for the upholding our young adults and for the projecting of positive rays of light which inspire the lifeblood of the future, our children. It would be remiss of me if I didn&339;t use this opportunity to challenge the influencers in this room as there will probably be no greater opportunity afforded to me.

We are at a cross roads, the islands that time forgot, followed the “Build it and they shall come” development playbook in the expectation that with one swooping stroke this strategy would right all the wrongs,…. and prosperity would be abundant for all, whilst functioning like a classical symphony. With cost of living, unemployment, serious crime, and illiteracy rates at all-time highs we are not akin to the financial centre ranking that we are quick to boast but more so to a destitute nation in the doldrums.

Be the change NOW! is a powerful phrase that means we all have collective responsibility through individual accountability and action in order to take back the figurative steering wheel. For any approach to be sustainable we must concentrate on our youth as they are the building blocks for the future Cayman. We must develop our individual strengths and use our greatest passions to exponentially increase our influence and play our role in making the Cayman Islands the best we can be. The diversity of positive threads of contributions will create the final canvass that we all envision for a world class Cayman Islands.

  • If you are a Coach, make a commitment to inspire as many of our youth as possible, go a step further and open young minds to a world of possibility in which every dream is achievable.
  • If you are an Educator give the best of yourself every day, devise the plan within the plan that will give the majority the highest probability for success.
  • If you are a Scholar or Writer you have a vital role in developing our literary history to solidify the identity of our country that should and can never fade! Like-persons were key in the building of other great nations during their maturity phase.
  • If you are a successful Businessman, continue to give to charitable causes which fill gaps of social need, however go a step further and give of your time which is invaluable even if it is to personally touch just one child in need.
  • We need to be the change NOW! because that is the “how” in the charting of our way to a positive future. Martin Luther King Jr. stated “The time is always right to do what is right” and Abraham Lincoln stated “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today”. Imagine our legacy, if we create a society worse than how we found it. We would have exploited all available resources to our benefit and left a withered rose for future generations.

    Steve Jobs, the late co-founder and CEO of Apple, was fearless and had the courage to change the world in the face of all doubt; a precursor to his most game changing innovations was a commercial masterpiece that spoke not about a product but an ideology. It spoke about persons seen as misfits,… the trouble makers (the commercial flickered through images of Martin Luther King Jr., Richard Branson, Ghandi, Mohammed Ali and Einstein to name a few) and at the end it concluded with the truest statement I have heard to date … “Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world;…. are the ones who actually do”, well I&339;m crazy enough to believe…. However the question that remains... Are you?

    Thank You and God Bless

Photos from our 2013 event

Garth Arch 2012 YCLA Recipient

YCLA 2012: A Year in Review:

imageThe YCLA journey has been a very memorable one. Leading up to the ceremony in May of 2012, I enjoyed reconnecting with the other finalists, most of whom I have known since childhood and who now are all talented young Caymanians each giving back to the community. The ceremony itself was a special night that I will never forget; there was a great deal of love and support in that room.

This past year has certainly been busy and I have had the opportunity to represent the YCLA in about 50 different engagements, most of which have been speaking commitments at graduation ceremonies, service clubs and community events. I have been completing my year by touring the schools, including a recent visit to the schools in Cayman Brac.

While my messages have been tailored to the specific event or ceremony theme, the main message that I have shared with the youth is the importance of developing a strong character while they are young, which I believe is the foundation of success. I tell them that character is an outward reflection of who they really are and that character begins with thoughts, which become actions, which become habits, which will ultimately define their character. That is why Aristotle once said that “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” I encourage the youth to develop a character of honouring God, working hard, serving others, being disciplined, honest and courageous, both in terms of going after their dreams and standing up for what is right. I always stress that in order to achieve their goals, they must be willing to work hard and be disciplined to sacrifice in the short term for the long term reward.

Leadership by example, which happens to be the 2012 YCLA theme, is very meaningful to me because it has been the example of others that has had the greatest impact in my own life. I love the words of Albert Schweitzer, former Nobel Peace Prize winner, who said that “Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing.” So fellow YCLA alumni and friends, I encourage you to continue leading by example and let’s keep working together to impact our community in meaningful ways.

Yours sincerely,
Garth Arch

Major Sponsors:

  • Dart Cayman Islands
  • Fosters Food Fair
  • Pricewaterhouse Coopers
  • WestStar TV
  • The Ritz-Carlton

Dart Cayman Islands

Dart Cayman Islands
500 Hogsback Road
Mason, Michigan 48854

Fosters Food Fair

Phone Number: (345) 945-3663
Airport Pharmacy: (345) 815-4051
Strand Pharmacy: (345) 815-4061
Fosters Food Fair
63 Dorcy Drive
Box 10400, George Town
Grand Cayman KY1-1004

Pricewaterhouse Coopers


WestStar TV Ltd.

Grand Cayman: (345) 745-5555
Sister Islands: (345) 948-2335
Fax (345) 745 5554
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WestStar Full Service Branch
Governors Square

The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman

Tel: (345) 949-0661
Fax: (345) 949-2830
The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman
PO Box 32348 KY1-1209, Seven Mile Beach,
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

YCLA In the community

Platinum Patron

  • Susan A. Olde, OBE.

Susan A Olde, OBE

Gold Patrons

  • Admiral Administration
  • Baraud Int.
  • Caymanian Compass
  • Progressive Dist.

Admiral Administration, Ltd.

Tel: (345) 949-0704
Fax: (345) 949-0705
Admiral Financial Center, 5th Floor
90 Fort Street, P.O. Box 32021
Georgetown, Grand Cayman, KY1 1208
Cayman Islands

Baraud International

Tel: (345) 945-1781
Fax: (345) 945-1782
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PO Box 2040
Century Yard, Cricket Square
Grand Cayman, KY1-1105
Cayman Islands

The Caymanian Compass

Tel: (345) 949-5111
Fax: (345) 949-7675
The Compass Centre
Shedden Road
PO Box 1365 GT
Grand Cayman
Cayman Islands

Progressive Distributors, Cayman Ltd.

Progressive Distributors Ltd.
PO Box 10107 KY1-1001
George Town, Grand Cayman
Cayman Islands

Silver Patrons

  • HighWater, Cayman Limited

HighWater, Cayman Limited

Tel: (345) 640-2295
Fax: (345) 943-2294
Online Banking: (345) 949-8300
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Grand Pavilion Commercial Centre,
1st Floor, 802 West Bay Road,
Grand Cayman,
Cayman Islands

Alumni Sponsor

  • Scotia Bank


Tel: (345) 949-7666
Fax: (345) 949-0020
Online Banking: (345) 949-8300
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Scotia Centre PO Box 689, Grand Cayman KY1-1107, Cayman Islands