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Students Honored for 'Laws of Life' Essays

A total of 90 students from the territory’s four public high schools received awards for their essays about “The Laws of Life” at ceremonies held this weekend on St. Thomas and St. Croix.

The 12th annual Laws of Life receptions were held Saturday at Government House on St. Croix and Sunday at St. Peter Greathouse on St. Thomas, according to a news release from the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands.

"Laws of Life" is a character education contest in the public schools, funded by a grant to the Community Foundation by the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation.

Created by the late Sir John Marks Templeton of the Templeton Foundation, the Laws of Life contest has become a basic in character education in scores of communities across the United States and throughout the world, according to the news release.

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Through the program, students are urged to reflect upon and then write about their personal laws of life – universal principles or core values that transcend time, religion, culture and national boundaries.

Peter Gruber was so inspired by the contest that he brought it to the Virgin Islands, saying "an activity that enables our young people to think about their values is something we should all get behind."

Every student at each public high school – St. Croix Central, St. Croix Educational Complex, Charlotte Amalie and Ivanna Eudora Kean High Schools – was invited to participate. Schools were encouraged to incorporate the character education program into the curriculum, usually presented as part of English courses.

Each year respected members of the community are asked to serve anonymously as judges for the contest. A panel of approximately 30 judges from St. Croix and St. Thomas assisted CFVI by reading and selecting the best essays.

After reading the essays, one judge said, “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to judge the essays. There were so many inspiring ones; our children are very aware and that makes me proud.”

Another judge commented, “This was not an easy task. So many good essays were written.”

Cash prizes are awarded to as many as six students in each grade at each school, with prizes of $500 for first place, $250 for second place, $100 for third place and $50 for honorable. Teachers of the winning students also win cash prizes in recognition of the role they play in the program.

The program costs about $40,000 a year, and to date, more than $300,000 has been donated for the territory’s Laws of Life program.

Further information can be obtained by calling the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands at 774-6031 or visiting the group’s website at www.cfvi.net.

The winners as provided by the Community Foundation over the weekend were:

St. Croix Educational Complex
9th Grade
1 – Bernadine Lacdao
2 – America Estepan
3 – Damia Evans

Honorable mention
Hannah Rantan
Sojourna Ferguson
Ashley Clendenen

10th Grade
1 – Kayra Clouden
2 – Karen Dascent
3 – Ché Richards

Honorable mention
Dinaja Dowdy
Janel Cole
Ivor Joseph

11th Grade
1 – Cherise Finney
2 – Selena Michelle Parrilla
3 – Reneah Guzman

Honorable mention
Marilyn Vegas
Kahlil Holland
Chenelle Adams

12th Grade
1 – Jesus Garcia Jr.
2 – Anyoli Martinez
3 – Jalene Golnzalez

Honorable mention
Orese Regis
Shanoya Hendrickson
Jeniqua Byam

St. Croix Central High School

9th Grade
1 – Bria James

Honorable mention
Regine Rose Acosta
Chanae K. Ottley

10th Grade
1 – Shanice Joners
2 – Nallika Payne
3 – Albanitza Lugo

Honorable mention
Shenequa Hector
Ricardo Acosta
Kanicia Hendricks

11th Grade
1 – Jessica Wiltshire
2 – Kyeisha Smith
3 – Gary Walker

Honorable mention
Jesus Rivera
Hakeem Farrell
Anthony Miles

12th Grade
1 – Wendyann Marcherry Joseph

Honorable mention
Shane Alleyne
Sierra Williams

Charlotte Amalie High School

9th Grade
1 – Tarique Fahie
2 – Nadege Joseph
3 – Janelda Frederik

Honorable mention
Ajayi Pickering Haynes
Shaedaya Varlack
Jamilyn Browne

10th Grade
1 – Sheila Joseph
2 – Brianna Hairston
3 – FitzyigalGeorge

Honorable mention
Arthur Williams Jr.
Tamilea Marshall
Iesha Smith

11th Grade
1 – Jakesha Descartes
2 – Malakai Frederikcs
3 – Elpert Brown

Honorable mention
Antoinette Maynard
Kiana Jenae Dansby
Sadiyah Ali

12th Grade
1 – Sean Thompson
2 – Whitney Crooke
3 – Shaquil James

Honorable mention
Shamiqua Venzen
Alexis Carty
Denesha Babrow

Ivanna Eudora Kean High School

9th Grade
1 – Dainelle Collins
2 – Miah Jackson
3 – Shekeenah Caesar

Honorable mention
Kr’Misha Robles
Jenisha Stapleton
Taryll Bassue

10th Grade
1 – K’nique Richards
2 – Nirisha Commodore
3 – Rachel Joseph

Honorable mention
Chloe Jarvis
Shaquelle Levys
Uris George

11th Grade
1 – Stephen Thompson
2 – Makisha Regius
3 – Requel Petersen

Honorable mention
Shernelle Tyson
Kencia Jolly
Rachael Jno-Baptiste

12th Grade
1 – Janan Roberts
2 – Adisha Donavan
3 – Kissa Williams

Honorable mention
Kermicide Dorsan
Jerell James
Karlyn George

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A total of 90 students from the territory's four public high schools received awards for their essays about “The Laws of Life” at ceremonies held this weekend on St. Thomas and St. Croix.

The 12th annual Laws of Life receptions were held Saturday at Government House on St. Croix and Sunday at St. Peter Greathouse on St. Thomas, according to a news release from the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands.

"Laws of Life" is a character education contest in the public schools, funded by a grant to the Community Foundation by the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation.

Created by the late Sir John Marks Templeton of the Templeton Foundation, the Laws of Life contest has become a basic in character education in scores of communities across the United States and throughout the world, according to the news release.

Through the program, students are urged to reflect upon and then write about their personal laws of life – universal principles or core values that transcend time, religion, culture and national boundaries.

Peter Gruber was so inspired by the contest that he brought it to the Virgin Islands, saying "an activity that enables our young people to think about their values is something we should all get behind."

Every student at each public high school – St. Croix Central, St. Croix Educational Complex, Charlotte Amalie and Ivanna Eudora Kean High Schools – was invited to participate. Schools were encouraged to incorporate the character education program into the curriculum, usually presented as part of English courses.

Each year respected members of the community are asked to serve anonymously as judges for the contest. A panel of approximately 30 judges from St. Croix and St. Thomas assisted CFVI by reading and selecting the best essays.

After reading the essays, one judge said, “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to judge the essays. There were so many inspiring ones; our children are very aware and that makes me proud.”

Another judge commented, “This was not an easy task. So many good essays were written.”

Cash prizes are awarded to as many as six students in each grade at each school, with prizes of $500 for first place, $250 for second place, $100 for third place and $50 for honorable. Teachers of the winning students also win cash prizes in recognition of the role they play in the program.

The program costs about $40,000 a year, and to date, more than $300,000 has been donated for the territory’s Laws of Life program.

Further information can be obtained by calling the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands at 774-6031 or visiting the group's website at www.cfvi.net.

The winners as provided by the Community Foundation over the weekend were:

St. Croix Educational Complex
9th Grade
1 – Bernadine Lacdao
2 – America Estepan
3 – Damia Evans

Honorable mention
Hannah Rantan
Sojourna Ferguson
Ashley Clendenen

10th Grade
1 – Kayra Clouden
2 – Karen Dascent
3 – Ché Richards

Honorable mention
Dinaja Dowdy
Janel Cole
Ivor Joseph

11th Grade
1 – Cherise Finney
2 – Selena Michelle Parrilla
3 – Reneah Guzman

Honorable mention
Marilyn Vegas
Kahlil Holland
Chenelle Adams

12th Grade
1 – Jesus Garcia Jr.
2 – Anyoli Martinez
3 – Jalene Golnzalez

Honorable mention
Orese Regis
Shanoya Hendrickson
Jeniqua Byam

St. Croix Central High School

9th Grade
1 – Bria James

Honorable mention
Regine Rose Acosta
Chanae K. Ottley

10th Grade
1 – Shanice Joners
2 – Nallika Payne
3 – Albanitza Lugo

Honorable mention
Shenequa Hector
Ricardo Acosta
Kanicia Hendricks

11th Grade
1 – Jessica Wiltshire
2 – Kyeisha Smith
3 – Gary Walker

Honorable mention
Jesus Rivera
Hakeem Farrell
Anthony Miles

12th Grade
1 – Wendyann Marcherry Joseph

Honorable mention
Shane Alleyne
Sierra Williams

Charlotte Amalie High School

9th Grade
1 – Tarique Fahie
2 – Nadege Joseph
3 – Janelda Frederik

Honorable mention
Ajayi Pickering Haynes
Shaedaya Varlack
Jamilyn Browne

10th Grade
1 – Sheila Joseph
2 – Brianna Hairston
3 – FitzyigalGeorge

Honorable mention
Arthur Williams Jr.
Tamilea Marshall
Iesha Smith

11th Grade
1 – Jakesha Descartes
2 – Malakai Frederikcs
3 – Elpert Brown

Honorable mention
Antoinette Maynard
Kiana Jenae Dansby
Sadiyah Ali

12th Grade
1 – Sean Thompson
2 – Whitney Crooke
3 – Shaquil James

Honorable mention
Shamiqua Venzen
Alexis Carty
Denesha Babrow

Ivanna Eudora Kean High School

9th Grade
1 – Dainelle Collins
2 – Miah Jackson
3 – Shekeenah Caesar

Honorable mention
Kr'Misha Robles
Jenisha Stapleton
Taryll Bassue

10th Grade
1 – K'nique Richards
2 – Nirisha Commodore
3 – Rachel Joseph

Honorable mention
Chloe Jarvis
Shaquelle Levys
Uris George

11th Grade
1 – Stephen Thompson
2 – Makisha Regius
3 – Requel Petersen

Honorable mention
Shernelle Tyson
Kencia Jolly
Rachael Jno-Baptiste

12th Grade
1 – Janan Roberts
2 – Adisha Donavan
3 – Kissa Williams

Honorable mention
Kermicide Dorsan
Jerell James
Karlyn George