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Aradhana Gilbert, Danesha Demeritte and Akila Thomas win their respective divisions in Templeton Laws of Life essay competition

  • Junior winner Danesha Demeritte, center, a student of Kingsway Academy, won first place in the junior division. She is pictured with Betty Roberts of the Templeton World Charity Foundation, left, and Jerome Fitzgerald, Minister of Education, Science and Technology.

  • Sadie Curtis Primary School’s Akila Thomas, third from right, accepts her prizes from Sadie Curtis School Principal Audrey Farrington, second left. Also pictured is Betty Roberts, Templeton World Charity Foundation, left; Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Jerome Fitzgerald, third from right, and Shevron and Paul Thomas, Akila’s parents.

  • C.R. Walker head girl Aradhana Gilbert, second right, receives the trophy for the senior division of the Templeton World Charity Foundation and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology’s Laws of Life essay competition from T. Nicola McKay, principal at C.R. Walker. Aradhana also received the top score for the entire competition. Also pictured is Betty Roberts, Templeton World Charity Foundation representative, left and Jerome Fitzgerald, minister of education, science and technology, right. PHOTOS: MINISTRY OF EDUCATION

Published: Jun 19, 2013

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Sadie Curtis Primary School’s Akila Thomas, Kingsway Academy’s Danesha Demeritte and C.R. Walker graduating senior, Aradhana Gilbert were the recent respective winners in the primary, junior and senior school divisions of the Templeton World Charity Foundation and Ministry of Education, Science and Technology’s Laws of Life essay competition.

Aradhana who received the top score for the entire competition in her essay expressed her views on the topic “Outward Beauty is Transient, but Inner Beauty is Lasting”.

She wrote: “Many are considered to be blessed with good looks. Yet, these traits must one day inevitably surrender their appeal, release their power and relinquish to nature her momentary biological gifts. Unless the possessors of these transitory gifts built a repository of beautiful character qualities, as time passes, they will be forced to reflect on days gone by. It is much wiser for individuals regardless of how society judges their appearance to work on developing a character that is replete with lovely qualities such as nobility, respect, amiableness, and compassion for all. Such a beauty firmly built on the inside goes beyond the limitations of time and its impact will indeed be lasting — lasting from generation to generation.”

Danesha, the junior division winner wrote about the law in her essay titled “Perseverance Makes the Difference Between Success and Defeat”.

Danesha wrote that it is never too late to pursue and fulfill your dreams.

“This law of life, perseverance makes the difference between success and defeat, can be applied to everyday life by staying devoted to your plans and dreams. Even if one should fail he should not give up because surrendering is authorization for defeat to prevail. One can apply this rule in the classroom, on the job, or even in the community.”

Akila, the primary division winner’s essay was written on the topic “No One Knows What he can do Unless he Tries”.

Akila listed Thomas Edison, Sir John Templeton and Dame Dr. Doris Johnson as examples of persons who have seen the benefits of trying.

“Being a ‘prefect-in-training’ has allowed me to see students who quit without trying and those who try and end up doing well. When my friends tell me they cannot learn Spanish, I usually encourage them by telling them of the penguin in the movie ‘Happy Feet’ who could not dance but kept on moving his feet and then one day was able to dance,” she wrote.

Of the 1,019 essay entries, St. Anne’s Primary School had the most primary school entries. Queen’s College and St. Augustine’s College were tied at the high school level.

During the awards

ceremony, Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Jerome Fitzgerald told the students that while they are diverse in their thoughts, they have one commonality.

“Every one of us has a moral code that will guide the choices that we make,” he told them.

He encouraged the students to embrace the laws of life that they wrote about in their essays and reap the positive effects of applying them to every day life. The education minister encouraged the students to pursue excellence in everything they do.

Dr. John Templeton Jr. spoke to the students via a video presentation at the ceremony and told them that their participation in the competition was an opportunity to study wise ideas that will last a lifetime. He encouraged the students to be aware of the importance of exercising common sense, open-mindedness and humility.

The competition was open to students in public and private schools across The Bahamas. Each year, the competition has experienced an increase in participants. Starting with 80 entries in 2009, the competition gradually increased over the years with 174 entries in 2010, 719 entries in 2011, 966 entries in 2012 and a record 1,019 entries in 2013. The 2013 competition saw unprecedented participation of students across The Bahamas. In total, 58 schools in New Providence as well as 54 schools from the Family Islands participated. Entries were received from 35 public schools and 20 independent schools. In the primary division, there were 317 entries. In the junior division, there were 344 entries. In the senior division, there were 358 entries.

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