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DeCastro among winners in regional competition

Sharie DeCastro (left) being awarded by Dr Marcia Potter. Photo Credit: Ronnielle Frazer/GIS

British Virgin Islands youth Sharie DeCastro has joined 29 other young entrepreneurs from countries in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) as a winner of the groups 30 Under 30 competition.

DeCastro and the other 29 selected persons represent a diverse cross-section of industries.

The OECS has accepted them for support from its Competitive Business Unit. The winners will also receive technical assistance, assistance in sourcing markets and financial inputs, and mentorship to aid in their professional and business development.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Dr Marcia Potter, who presented DeCastro with the awarding certificate during the virtual ceremony, offered congratulatory remarks on behalf of education minister Myron Walwyn.

Dr Potter said, “The Ministry of Education and Culture is pleased to see one of our young people excel in the OECS 30 Under 30 competition, as the ministry continues to work towards the development of our youth in the territory. It is truly a rewarding moment, and we commend her for a job well done.”

Leader of the Opposition Andrew Fahie, in the meantime, congratulated DeCastro. He said her accomplishment is ‘another reason why the BVI should be proud’.

Dr Didacus Jules, who is director general at the OECS, commended the initiative that seeks to bolster the creativity of the region’s youth.

“At the centre of this effort is youth development,” he said. “The youth demographic is among the most disadvantaged segment of the population characterised by unacceptably high rates of unemployment. Therefore, youth empowerment and entrepreneurship must be a priority if we are to drive the change we all seek.”

The OECS Commission, through its Youth Empowerment Strategy, opened nominations for its inaugural 30 Under 30 in entrepreneurship initiative in November of 2016, and extended the nominating period until March 31, 2017.

Eligible entrepreneurs had to be 30 years old or younger at the time of nomination, and they were required to be a citizen or resident of the OECS.

DeCastro’s winning business programme – Write to Read – is aimed at building a nation of readers, in addition to helping persons achieve academic excellence through literacy.

The programme shows whether children are reading and writing below, at, or above their expected levels. The screenings highlight areas of strength and weakness, and a detailed intervention plan for each child to address their individual needs.

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