Dart announces 2016 Minds Inspired High School Scholars

Minds Inspired, Dart’s education initiative, has selected its 2016 high school recipients Ethan Slocock of Cayman Prep and High School and Cristin Jackson of Grace Christian Academy.

Ethan is a top student at Cayman Prep and High School and excels in STEM subjects, particularly in mathematics and computer science. Ethan represented his school in the Minds Inspired Mathematics Challenge and was a participant in the UK Intermediate Maths Challenge in 2015 and 2016, receiving Silver and Gold medals respectively. When Ethan isn’t showcasing his mathematics skills, he enjoys sailing and roller hockey, represents his school at the Model United Nations and is a member of Key Club.

Cristin’s dedication to her academics has earned her many top honours at Grace Christian Academy as well as an A/A+ average for the last three years in core subject areas. Cristin has been on the Principal’s Honour Roll every year since Grade 1 and received the 2016 Citizenship Award at Grace Christian Academy. She represented her school at the Minds Inspired Mathematics Challenge, participated in the Rotary Science Fair and the NCFA and volunteers as an art assistant with the NCFA. When not involved in her academic pursuits, Cristin plays soccer and tennis.

When asked what future profession they aspire to, Ethan, with his strong interest in computer science, hopes to pursue a career that combines computer science and mathematics, while Cristin would like to study medicine, with the goal of becoming a paediatrician or a cardiologist.

The Minds Inspired High School Scholarship Programme consists of three main elements – a four-year high school scholarship based on academic excellence with a focus in the areas of mathematics and science, participation in a multi-year mentoring programme with Dart employees and special enrichment experiences designed to introduce new horizons and expand recipients’ worldview outside of the classroom. In past years, Minds Inspired high school scholars have attended SuperCamp at Brown University and Stanford University, spent time at the Dart NeuroScience research facility in San Diego, CA and visited the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, in Switzerland.

“Each year, we are inspired by the growing pool of diverse student applicants all of whom are simply outstanding - intelligent, curious and dedicated to a well-rounded school career,” said Mark VanDevelde, Chief Executive Officer of Dart Enterprises. “I am proud to welcome this year’s winners, Ethan and Cristin, to the Minds Inspired family; they both embody the Dart philosophy and exemplify Dart’s commitment to education and in particular to STEM subjects” he added.

Chris Duggan, VP of Community Development, added: “Being on the scholarship selection committee, I can attest to the difficulty our committee faces when choosing who to award the scholarship. Ethan and Cristin come to us with two different backgrounds and were selected not only for their academic and community involvement but also for showcasing their potential to be excellent ambassadors for the Minds Inspired programme. We know these scholars will go far and we are proud to be a part of that process.”

The Minds Inspired High School Scholarship Programme involves a multi-step, blind-selection process designed to remove distinguishing details such as school, age, gender etc. and keep the identity of the applicants confidential from the judging panel. Each year, a group of candidates are short listed from the total applications submitted. This year, 14 students were short-listed based on their applications and successfully advanced onto a second round: a mathematics and science test and a timed essay. Nine students progressed to the third round, which is an in-person interview with a Dart Executive. During the fourth and final round, a selection committee reviewed the total information on each of the five selected finalists (reviewing each application with no distinguishing details, only an application number) and selected the two scholarship recipients. The selection committee is made up eight professionals, five leaders in the local industry and community plus three Dart senior executives.

This year, the other three exceptional students and finalists in the Minds Inspired High School Scholarship Programme were Johnathon Bedasse from Cayman Prep and High School, Ethan Cronier from St. Ignatius Catholic School and Elana Sinclair from Cayman Prep and High School. These three students were recognised and applauded on their achievements; they will each receive a CI$500 Camana Bay gift card and have an opportunity to meet with members of the selection committee.