On Thursday, September 29, 2011 Surrey's finest were presented with the Governor General's Achievement Awards at a ceremony held at Medallion Hall Hotel, St Andrew.
Derron Roy Brown
2011 Youth Award of Excellence Recipient, St Thomas
DERRON ROY Brown believes the education system in Jamaica has become too relaxed. Brown who pursued a bachelor of science degree in computer science at the Northern Caribbean University (NCU), says most Jamaicans have been sitting down and accepting everything at face value and are unwilling to delve into research.
"What we should be doing is pushing ourselves to find out what is out there, and that would make us progress more. The most I have seen people push out there is like our athletes. They are always pushing themselves and I like that. They are the persons who should be influencing us. We are capitalising on them in marketing Jamaica, because if I go overseas they are going to ask me if I can run fast or if I can sing like Bob Marley, but not emulating their strength," Brown said.
Brown has, since his younger days, sought to excel in his endeavours. While at NCU, he surpassed everyone's imagination, when he and three of his fellow students made it to the 'Top of the World,' when they competed in the Microsoft Imagine Cup Competition. In 2009, they emerged regional champions. Determined to win, they re-entered the 2010 competition and emerged victorious in the Interoperability Category.
"We are not copying them, working as hard as them to make Jamaica a better place. I don't think that we are doing that as youths. That is why we have so many of us sitting down on the streets and getting nowhere. I couldn't see myself getting nowhere, and I wish that some of these young people would do something else," he said.
Brown has always pursued a path of excellence, and is a recipient of the Governor General's 'I Believe' Award; the Prime Minister's Youth Award for Excellence in 2010; and the Microsoft 'Top of the World' award.
He was born in St Thomas, and attended the Duckenfield Primary School, where he received the Horlicks Grade Six Achievement Test scholarship in 2000 to attend Morant Bay High School. Brown's academic excellence resulted in his achievement of nine Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate and three Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination subjects.
Although he has been on 'Top of the World,' Brown has endeared himself to his community where he counsels and mentors young people. He also provides free computer-related services to the Hampton Court Community Centre and the Duckenfield Primary School.
Xavier Donahue Allen
2011 Award Recipient, for the parish of St Thomas
"WE NOW have a society that I would consider is heavily skewed towards negative things. A lot of it has to do with how we are nurtured and how we structure the society to seemingly favour those who are not following the rules," believes Xavier Allen.
Allen has demonstrated impressive and outstanding leadership qualities throughout his academic career and corporate life, having equipped himself to perform at the management level, based on his solid education and work experiences in Jamaica and the United States.
"We need to encourage more youths to believe in themselves and to foster their energy towards positive things. It's not that there is a lack of energy or lack of drive in Jamaicans, it's just that it is channelled in the wrong areas. So if we can work together to foster that drive to do positive things, that will change the landscape of the country," Allen said.
Allen was born in St Thomas, and was educated at Belrock Basic School, Duckenfield Primary, and St Thomas Technical High School. He subsequently matriculated at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey, where he attained the bachelor of science degree and the master's in business administration.
During his sojourn in the United States, he had the opportunity to work with several leading corporate entities, having served as department manager at Home Depot in New Jersey, USA; the supply chain management specialist at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; a supply and demand analyst at the Panasonic Corporation in Secaucus, New Jersey; and subsequently, as sales manager, of the National Commercial Bank.
In 2009, he assumed responsibilities as manager of the Port Maria branch of NCB.
Allen was the charter vice-president of the St Mary Rotary Club and a board member of the Moses Baker Baptist Basic School, the Trinity Primary School and the Port Maria Civic Centre. He has also served as vice-president and entertainment coordinator of the West Indian Students' Association at Rutgers University.
Seiveright Manley Dixon, JP
2011 Award Recipient, for the parish of St Thomas
SEIVERIGHT MANLEY Dixon believes that as a country, more emphasis should be placed on education. "An educated country is a productive one. We need to put in place a continuous mentorship programme and make teaching values and attitudes compulsory in all schools. That is where we are falling down," Dixon said.
Dixon was born in Portland and moved to St Thomas when he gained employment as parish officer at the Coffee Industry Board (CIB). Thirty years later, he is still employed to the CIB and resides in the parish.
"We need to promote more positive achievements. In sports, our athletes are doing so well. We need to look at the positives and not only at the crime and violence and all the negative things affecting the country," Dixon said.
Life was not always smooth sailing for Dixon. The second of six children, he resided with his mother and siblings in a small dwelling in Buff Bay, Portland. Dixon received his early education at Buff Bay Primary and Buff Bay Secondary Schools, graduating with a school-leaving certificate. However, this did not deter him, as he was determined to succeed.
He enrolled at Buff Bay Seventh-day Adventist School where he successfully passed the Jamaica School Certificate examinations. He later attended the Jamaica School of Agriculture and was awarded a diploma in agriculture. A very highly motivated student, Seiveright registered at the University of the West Indies and later at the Jamaica Institute of Management where he obtained a certificate in supervisory management and a diploma in management studies, respectively.
Dixon has made significant contributions to his community by serving several social and civic organisations. He is a justice of the peace and first vice-president of the St Thomas chapter of the Lay Magistrates' Association of Jamaica; a board member of the St Thomas Peoples Co-operative Bank; chairman of the Paul Bogle Development Trust; board chairman of the Thornton and Johnson Mountain Primary schools and a member of the Optimist Club of St Thomas.