Sunday, June 19, 2011
Home ownership is the largest single monetary investment most of us will make. For many, it will be the foundation of wealth building and stability for generations to come. Realtors have a real interest in the communities in which they make their living, not just in the cost of housing and making the next sale. The St. Thomas Board of Realtors tries to give back to the community in a number of ways.
Each year, Realtor Janice Popo (on the left above) coordinates an essay contest for the graduating seniors on St. Thomas. Students from all of the schools, public and private, are invited to use their creative minds and fresh ideas to examine an issue that is a concern on island. This year's topic was the Bournefield Development, a residential complex which has been threatened with being demolished due to age and deferred maintenance. This is a thriving, tight knit community with the benefit of low rents that are not available anywhere else on island. Their plight has been the topic of a recent local legislative hearing.
The contestants submit their essays, along with their academic records, college acceptance letters and recommendation letters from guidance counselors or teachers. Each essay is reviewed by a committee of at least three Realtors. This year's judges were Alford Howell, Warren Stryker and Dionne Nelthropp. Each Realtor ranks their top four picks of the essays. The two contestants that are ranked highest and most often are the winners of the essay competition.
This year's winners were Tia Abraham and Neisha Paul, also pictured above. These young ladies are both graduates of Eudora Kean High School and recipients of a number of awards in addition to each receiving two thousand dollar scholarship awards from the board of Realtors. They were supported by family members when they attended our annual meeting to receive their awards.
There is no more important investment than our youth and their education. Congratulations to Ms. Abraham and Ms. Paul on their graduations and the beginning of their bright futures.