Ecole St. Mary students receive CACERMDI Young Person of the Year Award

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald (L to R) Oluwanifemi Owonikoko, Osagie “Leo” Ekhaguere and Ecole St. Mary High School Principal Dwayne Gareau; the CACERMDI Young Person of the Year Award was presented on Friday, June 16.

Four Ecole St. Mary High School students were named the Canadian Centre for Raw Materials Display Inc. CACERMDI Young Person of the Year Award on Friday, June 16.

The final four were Makeikin Oleksandr, Nelly Charles-Okoli, Riija Mansoor and Oluwanifemi Owonikoko.

Owonikoko finished with the most points and received a $100 cash award following the Quiz administered by CACERMDI President Osagie “Leo” Ekhaguere. Each student entered an essay prior to the quiz portion of the contest. The essay topic was “Global Shortage of Raw Materials: Causes, Effects and Solutions”.

Owonikoko said she just entered the essay for fun.

“It was honestly kind of like a quick moment,” she said. “I was kind of like, ‘it’d be really cool to actually do the research and learn more about raw materials’ because I barely knew anything going into it.

“Honestly, I was kind of surprised that I did so well in my essay. But it’s feels really good.”

Owobniko is in Grade 11 and if the Essay and Quiz Competition returns next school year, she would enter again.

Ekhaguere was pleased with how his non-profit company’s first Essay and Quiz Competition turned out.

“We are very excited, (and) very happy to have conducted this event,” he said. “It’s our first ever in all of Canada and we’re happy that it’s taking place here in Saint Mary High School.”

Ekhaguere said the goal is to help educate students, and give back to the communities they live in.

He explained that the students were encouraged, but because it was so close to the end of the school year only four contestants chose to enter.

The Quiz portion of the competition was used to place them, but each student received a certificate and an award.

“We are happy that we got four. For the four that we got, their essays were very good, they wrote good essays and that is why we chose all four as a CACERMDI Young Person of the Year,” Ekhaguere said.

The Quiz was done in a classroom and was broken up into two parts. One part was based on general knowledge and the second part was based on the essays themselves.

After the scores were tallied the marks on the essays were used to declare the first through fourth place finishers.

“Now this is going to be the annual one which we started,” Ekhaguere said. “We hope to have a bigger audience next year. We are very happy with the performance. It’s very exciting considering the number of turnout that we have so we are happy about it.”