Standing confidently, smiling and engaging the audience, Amendri Demel shared her vision of what Jamaica might be in the year 2062. She focused on possible technological advancements.
"I will look back and say, 'Jamaica indeed has come a long way'," she said, reading her winning entry at the award ceremony of the Lay Magistrates' Association of Jamaica's National Essay Competition. The theme for this year was 'My Jamaica in the Next 50 Years'.
The 11-year-old, who is in the sixth grade at Hillel Academy Preparatory, wrote vividly about solar- and wind-powered vehicles and the non-existence of the postal service. The reserved Demel said she was pleased with her achievement. "I feel happy that I won and I am proud that Jamaica is celebrating its 50th and I'm excited about the events," she said.
beat many people
Second place was awarded to Brianna Brown of St Andrew Preparatory who said she felt good "because I beat a lot of people". Brown's essay predicted Jamaica having a 10 per cent population growth by the year 2062, a literacy rate of 95-100 per cent and developed infrastructure, among other things. Third-place winner Faarah Thompson, from Race Course Primary, said she was "very thankful and excited to make it this far".
Lina Buckle Scott, senior education officer in the Ministry of Education, spoke on behalf of Education Minister Ronald Thwaites. She affirmed that "this competition serves to stimulate the creative minds of our Jamaican children and foster their development".
Buckle Scott added that she was confident that the future of Jamaica was in good hands and that "we must believe in ourselves; we must believe that every Jamaican matters and plays a role in the development of Jamaica". She encouraged parents and teachers to continue to positively impact the development of the students. She reminded the students that "to whom much is given, much is expected, so work assiduously and maintain an academic average of no less than 75 per cent in secondary school".
The essay competition began in 1990 with the objective of encouraging youngsters between the ages 10 and 12 years to express themselves through writing. Thirteen schools participated in the competition. The students received prizes of trophies, plaques and gift certificates for their hard work.