Nominations open for PM Youth Awards 2017

Date Published: 
Monday, June 19, 2017

Young Jamaicans between the ages 15-29 years who have achieved excellence in their field of endeavour can now be nominated for the Prime Minister's National Youth Awards for Excellence. The Awards which was first instituted in 1998 has not been held since 2013. For this year, nominations are being sought in twelve categories, and will close on August 31, 2017. 

Hon. Floyd Green, State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, explained that the Awards have been reintroduced as a means of encouraging youth participation, and promoting the positive contributions of young Jamaicans. 

"Good work that is being done by our young people should be applauded, recognised and rewarded. We want to recognise the contribution that young people are making to Jamaica, and we want other young people to be inspired by the stories of the awardees", explained Minister Green.

"It is easy to talk ill about Jamaican youth. We want to highlight the positive stories and speak about the good that Jamaican young people are doing", he continued.

For 2017, young Jamaicans (including those living overseas) born between January 1, 1988 and December 31, 2002 are eligible for nomination in the following categories:

  • Entrepreneurship/Social Entrepreneurship
  • Journalism/E-Journalism
  • Arts and Culture
  • Leadership
  • Environmental Protection
  • Sports
  • Academics
  • Innovation in Science and Technology
  • International Achievement
  • Jamaica 55 Special Award (Volunteerism)

A Youth Development Award is also open to individuals and organisations who have been involved in youth development work over the past five years, and have significantly impacted youth from one of the priority groups of the National Youth Policy.

Two new categories have been added for award: Innovation in Science and Technology and Environmental Protection.

Minister Green noted, "We continue to expand the categories for Award to recognise excellence in areas that are critical to the growth agenda. Unless we are leaders in science and technology, our country will fall behind. Our young people have also distinguished themselves as environmental stewards and advocates. We want to commend young people in these fields for their outstanding contributions and present them as role models for other youth".  

Minister Green further explained that the PM Awards recognises the increasing distribution of electronic content via the internet. Consequently, the Journalism award category has been modified to include e-journalism. All nominees in this category should have produced a quality work that has had a national impact, and has resulted in the resolution of a situation, or improvement in the well being of persons involved.


Hon. Floyd Green, Minister of State, MOEYI (centre) in discussion with Michele Small Bartley, Senior Director - Youth and Adolescents Policy Division, MOEYI (left) and  Jerome Cowans, PM Youth Awardee (right)) 


The award criteria for the category – Entrepreneurship has been modified to allow for the conferment of awards to social entrepreneurs, in addition to the traditional entrepreneurs. Nominees for social entrepreneurship must operate a social enterprise that has contributed significant social and economic value at the community and/or national level.

A Jamaica 55 Special Award will also be conferred on 55 young persons who have demonstrated outstanding and consistent voluntary service at the community and/or national level. These persons must have given service which is not related to mandatory obligations for work or school.  Awardees in the Jamaica 55 category will also be eligible for project grants from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, to further their community and youth development work.

Jerome Cowans who received a PM Award for Leadership in 2011 commended the Ministry for the reintroduction of the Awards, and encouraged persons to nominate outstanding Jamaican youth. Cowan explained that upon receiving the award for his community development work, he felt empowered to continue making contributions to Jamaica's growth agenda. "It is essential that government and the people of Jamaica continue to provide that encouragement to our young people", said Cowans. 

Nomination Forms for the Prime Minister's National Youth Awards for Excellence 2017 can be downloaded hereThe Awards Ceremony will be held in November as part of Youth Month celebrations.