Lazaro Jackson Wins the Central Bank’s SWSML Schools’ Essay Competition

Lazaro Jackson, a 17 year old student of the Barbados Community College, copped first prize in the Sir Winston Scott Memorial Lecture Schools’ Essay Competition. His win was announced during the eponymous lecture last Monday, November 28.

Writing on the topic “What is the meaning of Independence to Barbados? What have we achieved? What should we aim for?” Jackson praised the island’s post-Independence strides in education and social services as well as the accomplishments of national icons like Obadele Thompson, the Right Excellent Sir Garfield Sobers, George Lamming, and Rihanna while advocating for more affordable tertiary education and greater support for local businesses.

Jackson showed literary flair in his submission, framing his essay as a young man recalling the stories his grandmother had shared with him:

Until that fateful last day of November around fifty years ago, that is. Grandma said she remembered it like it had only just passed. She said not even the roar of the falling rain could drown the sounds of excitement and freedom as the Barbadian flag rose for the first time and the sound of the national anthem played as sweet as sugar cane juice to the soul.”

As winner of the competition, Jackson will receive an all-expense paid trip for two to London in 2017 where he will have the opportunity to visit King’s College. He was also presented with a trophy at the lecture, and as the winning institution, Barbados Community College received $1,000.

Second place in the competition went to 16 year old Rhianna Smith, who received $500 in savings bonds, an iPad, a gift basket, and a trophy while her school, Deighton Griffith, received $750. David Johnson, an 18 year old Harrison College student took third prize. He received $300 in savings bonds, an iPad, a gift basket, and a trophy. His school received $500 and a plaque.

The essays by Jackson, Smith and Johnson were adjudged the best of the 29 submissions received from students from the island’s secondary and tertiary schools. Preliminary judging was done by a panel of educators and representatives of the Central Bank of Barbados, while the final decision was made by Professor Richard Drayton, this year’s Sir Winston Scott Memorial Lecturer. (CLICK FOR BIGGER)

Drayton, who is currently the Sixth Rhodes Professor of Imperial History at King’s College, praised Jackson’s essay. “With attention to the slave and colonial origins of the society, it celebrated the many achievements of Barbados since 1966, but also did not shy away from either asking critical questions or suggesting new directions. Its language was clear and measured and persuasive.

The essay competition was sponsored by the Central Bank of Barbados and Cave Shepherd.

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