BFSB has announced the winners of the Student Essay and Speech Competition organised as part of this year’s Careers Fest & School Outreach Programme:

•Essay: D’Andra Sweeting, Grade 12, St. Augustine’s College
•Speech: Shenee Pratt, Grade 12, St. Augustine’s College

The annual school outreach is sponsored by BFSB in collaboration with the **Rotary Club of East Nassau** and **Rotary Sunrise**, along with the **Ministry of Education**, **Ministry of Finance**, and **Ministry of Financial Services and Investments**. Corporate Sponsor **Bahamas Business Solutions Limited** donated the prizes for the 2005 Speech Competition.

Eleven finalists were selected from 8 secondary schools, 8 for essays and 3 for the speech competition:

Aquinas College – Essay

C.C. Sweeting Sr. High – Essay

C.R. Walker Sr. High – Essay & Speech

Galilee Academy – Essay

Government High School – Essay

Queen’s Colelge – Essay

St. Andrew’s School – Essay & Speech

St. Augustine’s College – Essay & Speech

A Presentations Ceremony was hosted recently at BFSB’s offices, at which time Veronica Owens, M.P., Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Education addressed the students on the importance of staying focused in their studies, and the many career opportunities within the financial services sector. Felix Stubbs, Rotary Sunrise, presented certificates and prizes to all finalists, and Errolee Conliffe of the Ministry of Financial Services and Investments announced the winners, calling on Winston Rolle of BBSL to present the top prizes.

The top winner in each category received an IBM ThinkPad (laptop) and Carrying Case, while their school received a digital camera and photo printer. All finalists received Recognition Certificates from the Sponsoring Agencies, in addition to BookWorld and Stationers gift certificates.

St. Augustine’s College took both prizes – having submitted the winning essay and best speech candidate: SAC student D’Andra Sweeting wrote on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, while Shenee Pratt made a presentation on FSI Training and On the Job Skills – i.e. preparing for a career in financial services.

Judges for the 2005 Competitions were the 2005 Financial Services Industry Excellence Award Winners: Paul J. Winder (Ansbacher Bahamas Limited), Executive of the Year; Crestwell Gardiner (The Fidelity Group), Professional of the Year; and Francelyn Bethel (Oceanic Bank & Trust Ltd.), Achiever of the Year.

*(Photo shows left to right Veronica Owens, M.P., Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education; Shenee Pratt, St. Augustine’s College (Speech); D’Andra Sweeting, St. Augustine’s College (Essay); and Dawn Johnson, Business Teacher, St. Augustine’s)*