The 2017/2018 Recipient of the Young Caymanian Leadership Award is Faith Gealey. Chosen from five finalists nominated by the community, Faith’s ability to articulate her passion for mentorship won over the honorary board of the YCLA.
At the awards ceremony on Saturday night at the Kimpton Seafire, she shared with attendees the impact mentorship had on her life, acknowledging two prior YCLA finalists, Tonya Mitchell and Nasaria Suckoo-Cholette.
“Mentorship took me from a teenage girl with ideas and ideals and helped transform me into a young woman with a plan and a purpose.” faith gealey
With fellow finalists, Matt Brown, Yentel McGaw, Stacie Sybersma and Alice Ramos cheering her on, Faith issued a challenge to the corporate community to be generous with more than their financial contributions, calling for the establishment of a new initiative called Take 52 with companies giving their employees hours to commit to mentoring young people.
“If everyone in this room dedicated 52 hours for the next 12 months, that’s just one hour a week, can you imagine the difference you’d make in the life of the children you are mentoring? Can you imagine the impact, if each of you inspire one more person to take on that challenge? In a single year, we could mentor every single student that’s going to graduate high school.”
Ms Gealey said instead of graduating at risk youth who are often labelled as unemployable, “We could positively impact every single student, every single child and create a group of young people with the drive to be goal oriented, motivated and hungry for success. In four or five years, instead of planning for larger jails and social services support, we could instead be planning for larger universities.”
Faith is well known in the Cayman Islands community in her capacity as a speech therapist, but also for her work to showcase Caymanian culture and heritage. Her work with the Cayman Islands Special Needs Foundation has helped increase public awareness about special needs.