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Considerate & smart

Lauren Scriven, 11, spearheads an anti-bullying campaign known as Random Acts of Kindness in which she gives to her peers as an incentive to be nice to others. Twice a month, she makes cards on which she prints nice things for people to do, to which she attaches candy and hands them out.

Lauren, a sixth-grade student at St. Francis de Sales Catholic School in Abaco, who transferred in for the final year of her primary school year from Sts. Francis & Joseph Catholic School, in New Providence, is this year’s best and brightest primary school student. She was named the 23rd Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year.

Her win gave St. Francis de Sales Catholic School its first title.

In the award’s history, only three schools have had multiple winners – St. John’s College, Hope Town Primary and Xavier’s Lower School – which have all had two winners each; 16 schools have had one winner.

Lauren, the daughter of Tony and Lachrissar Scriven, received a $7,000 scholarship, tenable at the high school of her choice.

“I was inspired to make the Kindness Patrol because I was just tired of all the bullying that was going on. Some people were nice, but some people need a little incentive, so twice a month I make these little cards of nice things for people to do, and I attach a little candy to the back just for a little bit of encouragement.”

When she heard her name called as the winner, the first thoughts that went through her head, she said, were: “Oh my gosh! I actually won!”

She said being named the winner meant that she was the best of the best and the brightest.

“And to be against the best and brightest in the whole Bahamas is just a great honor,” said Lauren.

Outside of her Random Acts of Kindness initiative, Lauren has sold breast cancer pins, the proceeds from which were donated to the Cancer Society of The Bahamas. She also sponsored an initiative to support her local animal shelter to assist dogs in need.

The youngster is also a member of the Commonwealth Writers of The Bahamas Association. In 2016, she placed first in their annual short story/poetry competition, and was inspired to make her story into a book, called “The Adventures of Laura Stuart Before My Time”, after her mother Lachrisser Scriven wrote a book.

Lauren’s 34-page book, written for grade levels two to six, takes you on an adventure of time travel. In the book, join a young girl named Laura Stuart and a bully she called “Devilish” Devonya as they embark on the wonderful world of time travel. Journey with them as they explore new worlds and develop lifelong friendships.

The Primary School Student of the Year’s book can be had at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Lulu.com.

And she says she believes she was chosen the winner because they felt she was a really good student, and deserving of the award.

Lauren has a 3.9 cumulative grade point average (GPA).

She also says she’s the perfect mix of her parents and believes she gets her creativity from her mother and her determination from her father.

When she has a math problem, she goes to her mother. When she has an English question, she goes to her mother. When she has a science question, she goes to her mother. For a geography-related question, she goes to her mother. But she’s quick to say they are both equally smart.

And she knows she’s made them proud.

“I am their favorite child, but they won’t admit it,” said Lauren, who has an older brother who is named after their dad.

Before Lauren’s name was even announced as the winner, her dad said he knew his daughter had won, and so did everyone else in the auditorium after his reaction.

“They were announcing some of the things she had done, and when they said the Kindness Patrol, I automatically knew that this was my daughter. I said ‘what’ so loud, I think everyone in the auditorium heard it.”

Lauren’s mom was also proud of her.

“She does work hard; she has a lot of faith and believes in herself,” she said.

An independent panel of 14 judges reviewed portfolios of the 123 nominees to determine the winner. The process involves the judges going through the portfolios at the same time, but not together so that individually they make their decisions; and they don’t discuss nominees, so no judge is influenced by another judge. When they are finished, an accountant collects the results, tabulates and calls the Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year Foundation members into a meeting and gives them the rankings.

Foundation President and CEO Ricardo P. Deveaux said there are a lot of good students, but the students who are original in putting together their portfolio is what takes them over the top.

Scriven’s portfolio front cover featured a painting of all of the landmarks in Abaco. The paper on the inside was black, so she used metallic markers and tried to make it as interactive as possible.

Queen’s College student Melania Nixon was the first runner-up; she received a $6,000 scholarship.

Nixon, 11, is a prefect leader and has maintained a 3.90 cumulative GPA. She is a member of the Brownies Pack, the Quilting Club and the Junior Debutantes. She has represented her school in the E. Clement Bethel National Arts Competition and the Sister Sister Breast Cancer Walk in Paradise.

The daughter of Melvin Maycock and Danella Nixon formed her own non-profit organization called “Operation Love and Gratitude” where she gives back to her community by assisting with soup kitchens, caring for the elderly and the young people. She volunteers with the Yellow Elder Day Care Centre, where she entertains the residents with her violin and piano playing.

Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year past winners

1997 – Vashti Darling, St. John’s College, New Providence

1998 – Andrea Moultrie, St. Joh’s College, New Providence

1999 – Tiffany Moncur, Carmichael Primary, New Providence

2000 – Sasha Bain, Walter Parker Primary, Grand Bahama

2001 – Kenny Roberts, Spanish Wells All Age School, Eleuthera

2002 – Zachary Lyons, Queen’s College, New Providence

2003 – Tanielle Curtis, Sts. Francis & Joseph Catholic School, New Providence

2004 – Saul Solanga, Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Primary, Grand Bahama

2005 – Shirdat Jadoo, Maurice Moore Primary, Grand Bahama

2006 – George Zonicle, Bahamas Academy, New Providence

2007 – Taran Carey, Tarpum Bay Primary, Eleuthera

2008 – James Boyce, Hope Town Primary, Abaco

2009 – Khes Adderley, Temple Christian Schools, New Providence

2010 – Jared Fitzgerald, Xavier’s Lower School, New Providence

2011 – Anna Albury, Hope Town Primary, Abaco

2012 – Nadja Simon, Genesis Academy, New Providence

2013 – Lauryn Rolle, St. Thomas More Catholic Primary, New Providence

2014 – Donovan Butler, Xavier’s Lower School, New Providence

2015 – Samaya Lundy, Sunland Baptist School, Grand Bahama

2016 – Lila Nottage, Lyford Cay International School, New Providence

2017 – Hannah Edomwonyi, Clara Evans Primary School, Andros

2018 – Remington Minnis, Eva Hilton Primary School, New Providence

Shavaughn Moss

Lifestyles Editor at The Nassau Guardian
Shavaughn Mossjoined The Nassau Guardianas a sports reporter in 1989. She was later promoted to sports editor.Shavaughn covered every major athletic championship from the CARIFTA to Central American and Caribbean Championships through to World Championships and Olympics.
Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.
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