Dart awards two Minds Inspired university scholarships to talented Caymanian students

Dart’s Minds Inspired William A. Dart Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to two university-bound students. 

The scholarship was granted to two impressive applicants from a pool of over 40 students, Florence Allan and Stephanie Gunby – both of whom are top students in their respective high schools, Cayman Prep and High School and St. Ignatius Catholic School. Florence has been accepted to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) at the University of Exeter and Stephanie will attend Guelph University in Ontario, Canada where she was accepted into Guelph’s Marine and Freshwater Biology programme.

“We are pleased to welcome Florence and Stephanie to the Minds Inspired family,” said Mark VanDevelde, Chief Executive Officer for Dart Enterprises Ltd. “The William A. Dart Memorial University Scholarship looks for students whose strong academic backgrounds are complimented by diverse extracurricular activities and career interests. Florence and Stephanie excel in all these areas and they also possess keen insights around how their chosen areas of study can positively impact our community in the future. I look forward to their returning to Cayman, degree in hand, to become a part of Cayman’s next generation of leaders.”

Florence’s degree opens many career paths for her. One path she is interested in exploring is how to encourage sustainable development projects and infrastructure in developing countries and emerging markets, something Florence says she is interested in on a moral basis, but also because of the potential for innovation and economic growth. An Extended Project Qualification on political bias in US coverage of the Iran Nuclear Deal, completed as part of her A Level studies, helped develop Florence’s interests in the complex relationships between political systems and economic conditions – another area she hopes to develop further in university. Outside of her studies, Florence is a dedicated member of the Cayman Islands National Sailing Team where she acts as Team Captain. In 2014 she qualified to represent the Cayman Islands at the Youth Olympic Games and a year later, she was a part of the representing team at the Central American & Caribbean Games. Following these competitions Florence received funding from the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee allowing her to pursue a campaign for the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she will represent the Cayman Islands.

Stephanie’s areas of interest span geography, environmental science and marine science. In 2015 she had the opportunity to assist Dr. Guy Harvey and researchers from the Georgia Aquarium tag stingrays as a component of an AS Marine Science class. Last summer, Stephanie travelled with the National Geographic Student Expeditions to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands on a photography and wildlife expedition where she learned how climate change was affecting some of the islands’ indigenous species. This expedition strengthened her interest in geography and marine biology and Stephanie was excited to join the National Geographic Student Expeditions team again this summer to study the marine and tropical ecology in Bali, Indonesia. Stephanie will spend her days assisting local research team assess the health of the nearby coral reefs, among other activities. When she isn’t partaking in her passion for marine life and conservation, Stephanie is talented both athletically and musically, and is a member of her school’s choir, concert band and steel pan band. On the field and on the court Stephanie takes part in girls’ football and was a competitor in the Professional Squash Association’s 2015 tournament.

Chris Duggan, VP Community Development for Dart Enterprises, commented that “Florence and Stephanie’s already proven ability to effectively balance their academic work with their demanding extracurricular activities will serve them both very well as they progress through university and beyond. I add my welcome to that extended by Mark and I wish them both the very best of luck as they commence the next phase of their academic careers. I also wish them both the very best for their upcoming summer adventures – Stephanie in Bali and Florence representing the Cayman Islands at the Summer Olympic Games in Rio.”

The Minds Inspired Educational Programme includes, in addition to high school and university scholarships, an annual Work Experience Programme, a senior and junior High School Mathematics Challenge and a recently launched Dart Award in Excellence in STEM subjects. The programme supports on-island events that promote and encourage STEM education in Cayman, such as the STEM conference held at UCCI and the Rotary Central Science Fair.

The Minds Inspired Education 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. 

To learn more about the Minds Inspired Education Programme visit mindsinspired.ky.

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