"...Continue to follow our dreams. I encourage you to seize the opportunities before you..."
Published 9th July 2014, 1:6pm
Her record of achievement to date suggests that 2014 Proud of Them recipient Leshontae Missick will overcome any obstacles she may face, on her road to serving the Cayman Islands community as a psychiatrist.
As Valedictorian of the Layman E. Scott Sr. High School’s class of 2014, Miss Missick’s graduation address spoke on the subject of "Moving Forward". That theme referred to young people’s efforts to progress academically, as well as to make contributions to wider society.
She told her classmates that rather than a new beginning, their passing-out ceremony marked a continuation of their individual goals. "Continue to follow our dreams. I encourage you to seize the opportunities before you, and to carry on with your education. Don't give up now!" she said.
Last year, at the age of 15, Leshontae passed all ten of her exams with top grades, and is now undertaking A-Level studies. This is unsurprising, for a teen who last year filled the role of "Deputy Governor" during the annual meeting of the National Youth Parliament.
She recently obtained a different perspective, filling the position of Leader of the Opposition in this year’s Youth Parliament.
Balancing academic life with extra-curricular activities during her high school years, Leshontae excelled in swimming, football, and track and field. Her talent and dedication earned her the Senior Champion Girl award from her high school.
Equally gifted in the arts, Leshontae earned several gold, silver and bronze awards in the National Children’s Festival of the Arts, in areas including dance performance, speech and poetry.
Minister for Youth, the Hon. Osbourne Bodden, congratulated the Sister Islands recipient, saying: "We always hear about the importance of being ‘well-rounded’, but Leshontae is a sterling example of how teens can balance life in and outside the classroom. Through hard work and clear focus, they can indeed maintain direct paths to excellence in their early lives. She is truly inspirational to people of all ages."
A beacon to her peers, Miss Missick has never had a disciplinary incident. She has also served with distinction on her high school’s student council, was a prefect, and was captain of her school house – ‘Northwester’.
Community service also comes naturally for Leshontae. She was President of Cayman Brac’s Leo Club; which was a natural progression since she previously served as Vice-President. However, relocating to Grand Cayman meant that she had to step down from that position.
In her earlier years, she filled various other roles since joining the service organisation in 2008. Some pet projects included annual Christmas functions for children and the elderly, as well as environmental clean-ups.
Miss Missick’s advice to her peers mirrors her personal mantra: "…You will excel at whatever you put your mind to. So, put your mind to what you're good at, your passion. In the future, and regardless of your chosen careers, be proud of your honest living."