YCLA reveals the 2012 final five

| 07/02/2012

Casandra Morris (232x300).jpgSamantha Widmer (237x300).jpg(CNS): The five young Caymanians in the running for the annual local leadership gong were revealed by organisers Monday. Garth Arch, Dara Flowers Burke, Casandra Morris, Orchid Morrison and Samantha Widmer will have to wait until Saturday 12 May to find out which one of them will be crowned the Young Caymanian Leader at a black tie gala which will be televised on Cayman27. (Photos David Wolfe)

Organisers said the finalist has been selected from a large group of impressive nominations that were delivered by the community late in 2011. 

Garth Arch (244x300).jpgOrchid Morrison (230x300).jpg“The YCLA selection committee was presented with an almost insurmountable task; a task to identify five finalists out of so many suitable candidates who embody the mantra of the Young Caymanian Leadership Award. The five finalists are certainly all upstanding young leaders in our community,” said Jonathan Tibbetts, Chairman of the Nomination Sub Committee. 

Tibbetts, the 2006 YCLA winner said the committee members, who are all YCLA Alumni and previous award winners, spent much time reviewing, confirming 

Dara Flowers Burke (229x300).jpg

and questioning the submissions.  “The five finalists were selected for their dedication to growing our islands and young people; their discipline in their careers and volunteerism; and their desire to changethe islands for generations to come,” he added.

Now it’s down to the Honorary Board of Directors who will judge and score the five finalists via a secret ballot based on video interviews and their achievements.  Any of these board members with close ties to any of the five finalists withdraw themselves from this final process.

The name of the recipient has always been a well-guarded secret until it is announced live during the telecast. 

Previous recipients of the YCLA are Olivaire Watler in 2000, Dax Foster in 2001, Sara in Collins in 2002, Steve Blair in 2003, Cindy Scotland in 2004, Jonathan Tibbetts in 2006, Canover Watson in 2007, Stephen Ryan in 2008, Elroy Bryan in 2009, Collin Anglin in 2010 and Natalie Urquhart in 2011.

According to the biographies supplied by the YCLA the finalist come from a diverse range of backgrounds and include a lawyer, an engineer, a civil servant, an accountant and a writer.

See biographies below.

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Comments (16)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations Casandra. May God bless you always.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Best of luck to all the finalists.

    I especially wish Orchid all the best. She has done a great job for the UWC movement on the Island and have dedicated countless hours to help young Caymanians attain scholarships to study overseas. I wish you all the best!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Cassandra has my vote!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am proud of cassandra. She is the only one who likely didnt grow up with a gold Spoon in her mouth. She deserve this award because she had to work the hardest but yet still managed to be on top with the others. God is the answer and not famé.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Reading the profiles of these five finalist makes me feel proud to be a Caymanian. These guys are high achievers and will make a difference in peoples lives. May God continue to bless them and I pray that the may continue to good role models at a time when positive role models are needed more than ever! To me they are truly worthy and all are winners!.

  6. Once upon a time says:

    Congratulations to all, and a very special hello to Orchid who I had the sincere pleasure of getting to know a few years back.

    No doubt you will all pursue rewarding leadership roles in Cayman, and anywhere else you may go.

  7. Represent says:

    Actually, Garth graduated from the Cayman Islands High School.

    Big Up Class of '92!

  8. Chris says:


    Wow! This news article has been up for 24 hours without comment!

    Five outstanding young Caymanians working hard and doing so much for their community.

    Surely we must be able to find  time to write a positive comment or at least post our congratulations.

    Somehow i feel if this story was about some young Caymanian criminal the comment box would not be empty.

    Lets really try to promote and support the positive developments in our community just as passionately as we criticise the negative.

    Thank you CNS for posting this article.


    • Anonymous says:


      While not a frequent poster on this website, I read the articles. I have often wondered why there were no comments on the positive reporting of the Island. There have been many positive articles, which  show that not everything happening here is bad, yet not one comment. I guess that tells you a lot about  people. I certainly hope, this is'nt the mentality of the majority.


    • Stiffed-Necked Fool says:

      Really? Maybe its because we sense a pre-planned winner!

      • dulce says:

        it kills me how as a caymanian we kill each other – we are the worst – but even if it is pre-judged these are caymanians we should be proud of.. wah do us man. disgusting bunch people. yes I am a caymanian. no staus no parent from anther country.



  9. Anonymous says:

    Why is this limited to Caymanians? There are many other residents in Cayman that are community and business leaders, doing good for the betterment of Cayman and its citizens, that should be recognised in such a fashion. Just think how many business owners (small to large businesses) provide opportunities and funding, and give their time and energy to doing something good for Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are free to start one for Young Expats!

    • Anonymous says:

      Thats a great idea – why dont YOU start this award scheme for all the great foreigners we have here in our community – all it takes is someone like you with time on their hands to go out and solicit sponsorship and get this thing rolling. The reason why this one is for Caymanians only is because a group of persons decided that is what they want this awards to be about and went ahead – got the ball rolling and got sponsorship. Go ahead take the plunge, you can do one just like this for foreigners only.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Best of luck to all the finalists.

    I have known Casandra since she attended church summer camp. It is wonderful to see that maybe that experience made a lasting impression on her as she continues to serve God through youth leadership. She has also done herself and her family proud by her professional accomplishments as well. 

    Godbless you, Casandra, and all the best!