Maria Granger

PHILIPSBURG--Learning Unlimited (LU) Preparatory School student Maria Granger (14) placed first in the Senior Division of the annual Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) essay contest, organised and coordinated in St. Maarten by the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau (STB). D’Angelique Harregan of Methodist Agogic Centre also a finalist in this year’s competition.

  Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Minister Stuart Johnson commended Granger’s performance on Monday, saying he was very proud of “St. Maarten’s shining stars.”

D’Angelique Harregan

   Johnson said the St. Maarten students who participate in this event each year continue to show their talent and, more important, their love for St. Maarten.

  “This is indeed a proud moment for St. Maarten again to have a first-place winner in this important competition,” said STB Director May-Ling Chun.

  She said the competition is “significant, as it helps our students to get a better understanding of our tourism-based economy. By understanding it, they become more positive contributors to the further development of the industry.”

  The competition is designed to create greater awareness amongst schools and the growing population on the importance of the tourism industry and, more specifically, the cruise industry, according to a press release.

  This year’s essay competition attracted entries from 19 nations, with the theme being, “Many cruise passengers use cruising as a way to sample different destinations. What impression does my country leave on these passengers, and how does it or should it attract them back as stay-over guests?”

  As the winner in her age group, Granger will be awarded a cash scholarship of US $3,000, with LU Preparatory School also receiving a monetary award of $3,000.

  As an “on-island finalist,” Harregan will receive a cash amount of $200.

  Johnson and STB have extended their thanks to the LU and Methodist Agogic Centre teachers for their guidance of the students and for helping them to achieve greatness.