Laws Of Life Essay Bahamas Vacation

MORE than 2,100 students from around the Bahamas submitted entries to the 2017 Laws of Life Essay Competition in hopes of garnering recognition for their writing skills, sweetened by one of the generous prizes offered at the four levels of the contest--primary, junior, senior and college.

Participants represented public and private schools in New Providence and the Family Islands including: Grand Bahama, Bimini, Abaco, Eleuthera, Andros, Exuma, San Salvador, Long Island, Ragged Island, Inagua and Acklins.

Launched in 2009, the popular annual event is funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation Inc (TWCF), under the auspices of the Ministry of Education. The Department of Education's Writing Unit, consisting of Education Officers Liesl Wright, Linda Collie and Annamaria Smith, organises the competition each year, in collaboration with the Templeton World Charity Foundation Inc Committee led by Mena Griffiths and long-time consultant Elma Garraway.

Competition judges were: Pastor Allen Lee, the chief judge, Father Michael Gittens, Patricia Glinton-Meicholas, Pastor Lyall Bethel, Harriet Pratt and Letha Strachan.

This year's essay topics focused on laws associated with gratitude. The over-arching thought was that following the devastation of Hurricane Matthew in October 2016, students would wish to express their thoughts on being grateful. Competition was fierce; among the essays submitted, 350 essays scored 90 per cent and above.

The 2017 winners were: Elise Barnett of the University of The Bahamas, Michael Miller of Genesis Academy, Katherine Venkatagiri of Queen's College and Mila Sands of Queen's College.

The three all won a $1,000 tuition scholarship.

Genesis Academy took home the Dr John Templeton Memorial Floating Trophy as the top scoring essay winner and the English departments of the winners' schools took home a cash prize of $1,000.

Cash prizes ranging from $50 to $1,000 were also awarded to: student finalists, schools with the most finalists, and teachers with the most finalists.

Attended by finalists, representatives of TWCF and a host of educators, family and friends, the awards ceremony was held was on the June 1 at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel. The principal speaker for the evening was Janice Kaplan, author of the New York Times bestseller "The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life." Also speaking was Dr Andrew Serazin, president, TWCF.

Serethea Clarke, deputy director of education in the Ministry of Education, Science & Technology, extended heartfelt thanks to the foundation for its generosity in sponsoring the largest essay competition in the Bahamas.

"We at the Ministry of Education, look forward to a continued partnership with your organisation in focusing students' attention on the virtues of living a good life," Mrs Clarke said to TWCF executives.

Clarke encouraged the students to continue to strive for excellence.

"Essay contestants, I congratulate you for the exceptional work that you have done to produce your essays," she said. "It is my hope that each of you will pursue a life that upholds the law of life that you have written about for this competition. I encourage you to continue to be a part of the generation who will promote an excellent work ethic on a national level. I believe that you will become productive citizens who will contribute to the sustainable development of the Bahamas."

The evening was enlivened by the ever-popular rake n' scrape band of the Gerald Cash Primary School.

The Laws of Life Essay Competition was founded by John Templeton, legendary financier and author of many books on a subject he held dear and promoted widely.

A dream vacation for me would be to go on a cruise ship and do everything there and just relax!

Vivian Rodriguez

Teacher: Robert Leal

Veterans Memorial Academy

My dream vacation is going to Hawaii and relaxing on the beach! Also going to Tennessee to sightsee and hopefully see some country singers!

Kourtney Vasquez

Teacher: Robert Leal

Veterans Memorial Academy

My dream vacation is to go to Las Vegas.

Marcos Monroy

Teacher: Robert Leal

Veterans Memorial Academy

My dream vacation would definitely be to go to Jamaica. I've always wanted to visit a couple of islands there and live the life that Jamaicans have to live each and every day.

Claudia Trejo

Teacher: Robert Leal

Veterans Memorial Academy

My dream vacation would be going to the Bahamas with no worries. I would want it to be fun and relaxing and have a memorable time and meet wonderful people.

Alli Reid

Teacher: Jean Bovee

Weslaco High School

Abu Dhabi is the destination for my dream vacation. It is the world's richest nation and includes so many activities. Their hotels are the size of cities, and everything there is extreme, from their shopping centers to their beaches. The Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi is the most expensive hotel in the world and includes the most extravagant spa and hotel services. Plus, Abu Dhabi is the setting for the new Sex and the City 2 movie. Any place good enough for Samantha and Carrie is a place worth traveling to!

Briana Pedraza

Teacher: Jean Bovee

Weslaco High School

My dream vacation is a trip to the Bahamas. From what I have seen, it is a very beautiful and tropical place. I love warm weather and the summer time would be perfect to visit this place. The Bahamas would definitely be my dream vacation.

Jaime Balli

Teacher: Jean Bovee

Weslaco High School

My dream vacation would be to go to Vatican City and to Jerusalem with my family. I would love to attend a mass given by the Pope and visit St. Peters Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and other memorials. Visiting Israel would be like being part of the past that is present in almost all of our lives. Then I would really enjoy visiting China, Japan, and South Korea. I feel that there is so much we can learn by learning about other cultures and customs.

Betty A.Garcia

Teacher: Jean Bovee

Weslaco High School

A dream vacation would be my dad by my side, a fishing rod in both our hands, and a large amount of bait fishing the horizon in the most popular spot to fish. There is no presence of wind and the water is crystal clear. We would fish every morning for two weeks at this place, enjoying every detail the day has to offer. Fish hooked or not, a vacation with my dad and fishing poles in our hands is always a good day to me.

Aaron Burciaga Jr.

Teacher: Jean Bovee

Weslaco High School

My dream vacation would be to Puerto Rico. I would love to swim in the blue waters and see people that to me only live through the internet. I would also like to see if it's true that it only takes 8 hours to travel the whole island. Plus it looks like there are a lot of things to do.

Astrid Gonzalez

Teacher: Erica G. Puntureri

Veteran's Memorial Academy

My dream vacation is to go on a cruise to Europe. I would love to accidentally run into Johnny Depp. But it would be awesome to visit the foreign country and see the world. That would be my dream.

Mariana Perez

Teacher: Erica G. Puntureri

Veteran's Memorial Academy

My dream vacation is to go to New York City. I would love to go there. I want to see the Statue of Liberty and the tall buildings. I would want to see some Broadway shows and shop at famous stores. I would probably want to go with my mom!

Cecilia Gonzalez

Teacher: Erica G. Puntureri

Veteran's Memorial Academy

My dream vacation is going to Hawaii and sitting on the beach getting a tan. I also want to go swimming in clear blue water. Playing football on the sand with my family!

Jesse Jimenez

Teacher: Erica G. Puntureri

Veteran's Memorial Academy

I would go to San Antonio. My mom was separated from her family when she was little; I would help her find my family. I probably have cool cousins.

Esteban Moreno

Teacher: Erica G. Puntureri

Veteran's Memorial Academy

My dream vacation is to go to somewhere out of state. That place would be Disney World. I've never been to Disney World and I hope to go soon. We don't have enough money right now, but my mom promised me that we would go, and I trust her. My uncle has been saving money for years and we are hoping that the jar will get filled. It is almost halfway full, and anytime we get money, we put it in there. My uncle has never been there either, so we are taking our time so we can go have fun, as a big family. We'll all go TOGETHER!!!

Meriah C.

Teacher: Angelica Alvarez

Vernon Middle School

My dream vacation would be Hawaii because of the super nice beaches. The beaches are such a nice, shiny blue that you can actually see the bottom. Also there is black sand. The nice view with the nice hotels, not to mention the nice fresh air. They also serve all kinds of cool fruit. There are also nice animals there. That is a cool dream vacation. It would be awesome.

Joshua F.

Teacher: Angelica Alvarez

Vernon Middle School

First we would start driving up to the District of Columbia, stopping at historic sites along the way. Each night, we would get a really nice hotel. Once we arrived at the nation's capital, we would get a nice hotel and spend the days looking at the museums and other historical locations and monuments. After our last night in our luxurious hotel, we would return home. We would take a different route that way we could stop at other museums and historical places along the way.

Andrew H.

Teacher: Angelica Alvarez

Vernon Middle School

My dream vacation is to go on a cruise to the Bahamas or Hawaii. Going to either of these places would definitely be a dream come true. I could go scuba diving, mountain climbing, or sliding down the waterslides.

Debbie B.

Teacher: Angelica Alvarez

Vernon Middle School

Coconut sipping, waves gushing, and burning flames on the beach is where I want to be. On a Hawaiian beach to be specific, surfing on the clear blue water and visiting five star restaurants and hotels. Just there with my family having a great time!

Cody Carcia

Teacher: Stacy Hill

Gutierrez Middle School

My dream vacation is to go to China & visit its cities. Since I love ghost videos I would mostly want to visit the inside of the Great Wall of China. I also read something that there was a creature named the Yeren; but the definition of that is called the "wild man." It is also like American Bigfoot. I would also eat their cultural foods; I heard they eat scorpions & silkworms. I would mostly like to be there for their traditional festivals & see how it is. The thing that I love most is to see is the creation of how they make video games.

Robert McCormick

Teacher: Stacy Hill

Gutierrez Middle School

My dream vacation would have to be to Hawaii so I can go surfing, eat Hawaiian food to see how it taste, go scuba diving and try to dance the Hawaiian song. I would try a lot of different things in Hawaii and just have fun. I would come back with a lot of souvenirs.

April Vega

Teacher: Dagoberto Pena

San Benito High School

Well my dream vacation is to go to Europe. To explore the beautiful land of London, Paris, France, England and more. I would love to go see the European discoveries, the Castles and learn the great history that roamed those lands. The European Continent is my dream vacation.

Cynthia Martinez

Teacher: Dagoberto Pena

San Benito High School

Well my dream vacation would consist of me going somewhere very far, yet a bit unusual. Making it challenging for me to find things and experience a whole new life style. I would love to visit Tokyo, Japan. For one I'd love to own some Japanese people in Super Street Fighter IV, eat real Japanese food and basically have the experience of going to another country. Plus my friend and I would love it over there since we love their food and culture. So going over there would be a worth while experience and vacation.

Abraham Ayala

Teacher: Dagoberto Pena

San Benito High School

My dream vacation would remain memorable for the rest of my life. It would consist of a trip to the land of the rising sun. Japan for the longest time has been a place of extreme wonder and amazement for many of my closest friends and me. It's just so different than any other place in the world especially the city of Tokyo. Tokyo is a city without an equal in the world because it stands on the cutting edge of the future with a combination of high-technology and tradition. Everything about this city is so diverse that to try and explain Tokyo to a person who has never visited would be nearly impossible. For it is in almost every respect different from all other cities in the world, and Japan unlike any other country in the world.

Jose Castillo

Teacher: Dagoberto Pena

San Benito High School

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