Cheers and tears filled the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic???s (SJPP) hall yesterday, as the winners of WorldSkills Barbados 2014 were announced, with the Most Outstanding Participant title going to the winner of the garment making competition, SJPP???s own Samantha Yearwood.

The emotional 20-year old said: ???I had a wonderful time in the competition; I got a lot of experience???I didn???t think I would win,??? adding that she hoped ???to become one of Barbados??? biggest fashion designers and own a fashion school one day.???

Her SJPP counterparts, Alana Grant and Kelsey Lunn placed second and third, with the designs of all the fashion students paraded during the ceremony.

Lashae Skeete and Ebony Brathwaite-Chen were runners up to Adisia Sargeant of the Barbados Vocational Training Board (BVTB), who won the beauty therapy competition.

In addition to her first place prizes – $1000 from Guardian Group, $125 voucher from the Barbados Public Workers Cooperative Credit Union and a $150 voucher from the Cooperative of Barbados ??? which were awarded across all five competition categories, Ms. Sargeant also won a two week attachment with the Sandy Lane Hotel.

Another SJPP student, Tahira Hurdle, was ecstatic about her win in the hairdressing category. ???On the first day, I was nervous???but for the rest of the competition everything went as planned,??? Tahira said. She added that she believed her ???strong points were my creativity and being able to [adapt] on the spot. For most of the modules I barely finished on time, but I kept going and I pushed through.???

Newcomer to the competition, Semaj International School of Cosmetology and Trichology, was also well represented, with Jessica Willoughby and Rukiya Clarke placing second and third, respectively.??BVTB culinary arts student, Omari Lamming, was the victor in his segment, with Barbados Community College placing second and third with Jevon Johnson and Jamarr Marshall.

???To be honest I???m a bit surprised because I didn???t think I would???ve won,??? Mr. Lamming admitted, with the aspiring chef stating that he hoped his talents took him around the world. Another culinary competitor, Ramon Morris said, while he did not place, the experience would serve him well as he continued in his culinary career.

Automotive technology winner, Darius Shepherd, said that the competition ???was challenging???timing was one of my biggest challenges and I was a little nervous???but I feel really great about the internship [opportunity],??? he said of his job attachment with Courtesy Garage, which is part of his gold medal winnings.

Silver medalist, Timothy Johnson, admitted that ???I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I didn???t do my best, but I???m still satisfied with the outcome. We had a lot of fun and I learned a lot too,??? adding that he was looking forward to completing his studies.

The prizes for this year???s silver medalists at WorldSkills Barbados were a scholarship compliments YES and gifts specific to the competition categories. Donors included the Caribbean Examination Council, PROSECURE, Colleen???s Beauty Supply and Ocean 2 Hotel. All bronze medalists won tickets for two to Harrisons Cave.

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