By Makeida Antonio
Antigua and Barbuda will be represented by a new Junior Tourism Minister at the Caribbean Youth Congress (CYC) in the Cayman Islands this September.
CYC is a developmental competition involving students aged 14 to 17 from Caribbean Tourism Organisation member countries who debate on regional tourism matters.
Ti-ikha Edwards, a second form student of Clare Hall Secondary School, is the new Junior Minister of Tourism for 2022-2023, and she will travel as a CYC delegate.
Edwards emerged victorious from a speech competition during the National Tourism Youth Congress held at the Antigua and Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute on Wednesday. She beat seven other young contestants from schools across Antigua, displaying a composed demeanour even under pressure.
Edwards expressed her excitement following the announcement that she’d won the title.
“I feel really good, I feel proud, of not only myself, but all the work that I would have put in over the few weeks. It’s nice to know that all the work you put in is bearing something fruitful and positive,” Edwards told Observer on Wednesday.
In her spare time, Edwards plays volleyball and said it is one of the things that makes her happy. She also credited her expanded vocabulary to a love of reading, a tool she eloquently used to achieve success in the competition.
For others thinking of becoming the next Junior Tourism Minister, Edwards shared some useful advice.
“You’re going to feel nervous, don’t let that nervousness overcome you. That is going to lead to a lot of stuttering and mistakes. Relax yourself, calm down, remember that after this competition you’re going to be looking back at this competition saying, ‘I wish I was calmer’,” she said.
She also thanked her mother for helping her prepare.
“Special thanks to my mom for being my rock through everything,” Edwards added.
Meanwhile, Akemi Ducreay of St Anthony’s Secondary School placed first runner-up, and Neilisha Maragh of Antigua Girls High School placed second runner-up.
Participants as well as their mentors will receive prizes including tablets, staycations, restaurant reservations and spa treatments compliments of the Ministry of Tourism.