Dart announces 2014 Minds Inspired high school scholars

Minds Inspired, the education initiative created by Dart Cayman Islands, has selected its recipients for the 2014-2015 school year – Anja van Genderen and Emma Turnbull.

Anja and Emma, both aged 14 and students at Cayman Prep and High School (CPHS), excel academically with A and A* grades in all core subjects, with demonstrated skills in Maths and Science.

Anja’s goal is to complete her A levels at Cayman Prep and High before studying tertiary education in the United Kingdom, with a possible focus in life sciences, law or engineering. Emma also wants to complete her A levels on island at CPHS, before majoring in an area that highlights her skills in Mathematics – possibly Architecture or Engineering. She also plans to attend university in the United Kingdom.

Both girls have an impressive array of talents, displaying considerable aptitude in extra-curricular activities as well as academics. Anja is an avid horse rider, having recently received the reserve champion award in two categories at the Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation National Dressage Championship Awards. She is a member of the CPHS Maths Club and of its model United Nations group. She plans to take part in Junior Achievement this year, and enjoys art, specialising in portrait drawing and, as a reflection of her sporting abilities, drawing horses.

Emma will be representing Cayman in the Bermuda Junior Caribbean Area Squash Championships (CASA) this July, and has been the national title holder in her age group in girls’ junior squash in Cayman for the last three years. Her sporting efforts also extend to track and field – she is a member of the Madisonite Athletic Club – and football. On the creative side, Emma is extremely musical, playing the violin, guitar and steel pan.

“The calibre of applicants for this scholarship programme never fails to impress me,” says Mark VanDevelde, Chief Executive Officer for Dart Enterprises Limited. “The fact that this year’s scholars are both female is particularly noteworthy, given that statistics in the United States show that, at STEM high schools, boys often outnumber girls by three to one, yet jobs in STEM fields are expected to grow at double the rate of other fields. Our 2014 female scholars further confirms the presence of talent in STEM subjects across the board in Cayman, regardless of school, gender or age.”

The Minds Inspired high-school scholarship programme consists of several elements, including a four-year high school scholarship based on academic excellence with a focus in the areas of mathematics and science, a mentoring programme with Dart employees and enrichment activities intended to further inspire and expose students to multiple opportunities. Previous years’ enrichment activities include attending SuperCamp at Brown University (www.supercamp.com) and this year, students will visit the Dart NeuroScience compound in San Diego (www.dartneuroscience.com), meet with scientists and engage in a variety of maths- and science-related activities in the San Diego area.

Following the Minds Inspired ‘blind’ application process, a final selection committee of eight professionals made up of Dart senior executives and Caymanian community leaders narrowed the finalists down from five to two recipients. The application process requires applicants – of which there were fourteen this year – to submit their grade transcripts, write an application essay, detail their extra-curricular activities, take a test comprised of mathematics and science questions and a short essay component, and then complete an interview. The names of the applicants are kept confidential from the entire selection committee, with the exception of the interviewer, to eliminate any potential bias.

The three finalists for Minds Inspired’s 2014 high school scholarship were Bianca Meghoo from St. Ignatius High School, Wray Suliscz from Cayman International School and Nathan McCoy from John Gray High School, and each attended a meeting with members of the final selection committee, who offered their personal congratulations and awarded the students with a CI $600 gift certificate to the Cayman MAC Store at Camana Bay.

The Minds Inspired high-school scholarship programme was first launched in 2012, and in 2013 it was joined by the William A. Dart Memorial scholarship, which provides funding, mentorship and support to Caymanian students with exceptional academic records attending, or about to attend, university. The education programme includes an annual Mathematics Challenge and showcases its support for the development of Cayman’s youth with a particular focus in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education on island. Events supported by Minds Inspired include the Chamber of Commerce Careers Expo, the STEM conference held at UCCI and the Rotary Central Science Fair.

The Minds Inspired programme supports the Dart family’s philosophy of promoting education and fostering academic excellence in math and science. The Dart Group believes that mathematics and science are fundamental building blocks for both academic and career success. 

Visit www.mindsinspired.ky for details on this year’s programme, the initiative’s various events, latest news and applications for next year. 

Dart Cayman Islands encompasses a number of businesses that operate in Grand Cayman and is also the developer of the Town of Camana Bay.