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Mary Star of The Sea Catholic Academy Makes History at the 2018 Annual Laws of Life Competition
By Keesha Bethell, TCL Group
Jun 8, 2018 - 4:07:27 PM

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K’Shura Hanna (pictured on far right) a tenth grade student of Mary Star of The Sea Catholic Academy in Grand Bahama became the first student to win both the Senior Division and be named overall winner of the Templeton Laws of Life Essay Competition. The winner or the Junior Division was Danielle Saunders from St. Augustines College (Far Left) . R’Yanna Wilson (second from left) of Sadie Curtis Primary School won the Primary Division. Pictured in the middle is Dr. Andrew Serazin, President of the Templeton World Charity Foundation who presented the awards.

K’Shura Hanna made history when she became the first tenth grader and first student from Grand Bahama to capture both the Senior Division Award and the Sir John Templeton Memorial Floating Trophy as Overall Winner in the 2018 Templeton World Charity Foundation/Ministry of Education Laws of Life Essay Competition. The tenth grader said she was humbled, thanking God, her family and teachers for pushing her to victory. 

“I was really, really surprised,” she said. “But I was very thankful and super excited more than anything.” 

Hanna’s winning essay dominated 2000 submissions at the Annual Laws of Life Essay Competition. Categorized into Primary, Junior and Senior Divisions, the competition celebrated 10 years since it was reintroduced into Bahamian schools. To commemorate the milestone, a video competition was added to the lineup.  
Danielle Saunders, of St. Augustine’s College, won the Junior Division and R’Yanna Wilson, a 5th grader from Sadie Curtis Primary School won the Primary Division. 
Capturing the Minister’s Cup as winners of the first annual video contest was a group of students comprised of Aneka and Charisma Minnis of Queen’s College and Jurusha Munroe of St. Anne’s High School.

Nearly 80 finalists, along with supporters, filled the ballroom at the British Colonial Hilton on Thursday, May 31, 2018.

There were a number of special guests in the crowd who gave inspirational remarks. They included: Heather Templeton Dill, granddaughter of the late Sir John Templeton and President of the John Templeton Foundation, Dr. Andrew Serazin, President of the Templeton World Charity Foundation (TWCF) and Education Minister, Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd.

Templeton-Dill described the event as a joy and explained the rationale behind the essay competition.

“My grandfather thought that if you think of what is important to you and then you write about it, that it is going to instill that principle or that law of life in you and you will be more likely to live by that law of life year after year,” she said. “More importantly, he thought that if you write about a law of life that’s important to you, someone else is going to read that essay and they too will be inspired by what you wrote and they would be more likely to live by that law of life.”

The TWCF President spoke to the true meaning of the 10 year milestone.

“Tonight represents a year’s worth of work and of dedication of students, judges and coordinators and especially at this 10th anniversary of a reinvigorated laws of life competition.When I see the impact that we have had,” he said, “it makes me truly proud.”

Minister Lloyd left the students with three proverbs: “Be Humble”, “Be Grateful” and “Always Do Your Best”.

He also gave words of encouragement to parents.

“It is proven scientifically that when parents are involved in the lives of their children, they do better,” he said. “You deserve tonight parents, a thunderous ovation of gratitude for the gift you give to your young children who, this day, represent their own hard work, but also your support.”

Organizers say in the years to come, the primary goal of the competition will remain the same -  instilling the importance of meaning, purpose and truth to the laws of everyday life.

For more information on the competition, visit Laws of Life Essay Competition Bahamas on Facebook.

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