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

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald All of the CACERMDI Young Person of the Year Award winners pose for a photo; the CACERMDI Young Person of the Year Award was presented on Monday.

Six Ecole St. Mary High School students were named the winners of the Canadian Centre for Raw Materials Display Inc. CACERMDI Young Person of the Year Award on Monday.

The six winners were Esther Akinjobi, Iseoluwa Bamimore, Noelle Lambert, Anna Songolo, Kashnindi Songalo, and Nnamdi Ndubuka.

Akinjobi finished with the most points and received a $500 cash award following the Quiz administered by CACERMDI President Osagie “Leo” Ekhaguere. Student entered an essay prior to the quiz portion of the contest. The essay topic was “Unveiling the Raw Materials of Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba.”

Akinjobi entered the essay contest because she was curious about the material.

“I just found it interesting how raw materials can like change our whole entire economy,” she said. “Without raw materials, there’s so many things we wouldn’t be able to do, so it’s good to know more about the raw materials. I wanted to show my knowledge on the raw materials because if I know about raw materials, then I can hopefully share it to other people.

“People usually just think it’s like potash or like uranium or lithium, but it could be something as easy as it’s just water,” she added. “Water is a raw material as well, so that’s good.”

Akinjobi was surprised to win the contest because the questions were so difficult.

Lambert and Anna Songolo had their placings determined by a series of tiebreaker questions.

Ekhaguere was pleased with how his non-profit company’s second Essay and Quiz Competition turned out with more entrants compared to the first in 2023.

“Last year, we gave $100 for the overall best and this year we’re given $500 to the overall best courtesy of The Optimist Club International, the one in Prince Albert, they gave our club, they sponsored this event and we are so grateful to them,” Ekhaguere said.

He said the sponsorship came about because of the Optimist Club’s passion for helping youth.

“They want the best to come out in our youth,” Ekhaguere explained. “They want our youth to be the best ambassador to our community and … they are doing their best to ensure that they do everything that supports every program that is aimed at promoting the youth development.”

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

They also want to increase the public’s knowledge and awareness about raw materials in Canada, and he said engaging young minds is the best way to do that.

“We never can tell what this knowledge can transform into tomorrow, because their mind is still very young and there are a lot of things that they can do with the various raw material that we have,” he explained.

He added that the students were encouraged to enter across all high schools in Prince Albert but the entries only came from Ecole St. Mary, which he hopes can change in the future.

The Quiz portion of the competition was used to place them, but each student received a certificate and an award. First place received $500, second place received $200, third place received $100 and places four through seven each received $40.

The Quiz was done in a classroom in the library and was broken based on general knowledge of what can be made from raw materials of Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba.

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

He said that after the growth with this year’s quiz he expected next year to grow more.

“Next year will be bigger than this because this one is bigger than last year,” Ekhaguere said.
“We are so happy about it.”

The best essay in the contest will be read at the second International Conference and Exhibition for Raw Materials, which takes place April 25 to May 2.