NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The PACE foundation has named ten champions of its first ever “Hidden Hero Champion 2020” campaign that was part of their annual Character Day Bahamas education program.
Held in the last quarter of 2020, the campaign expanded into the communities where “hidden heroes” were nominated. Character Day is affiliated with a global program that included over four million people across 200,000 groups and spanned 125 countries. For the past four years in The Bahamas, focus had involved schools and organizations.
Nominators were asked to choose the top three strengths they thought the person they nominated held. A periodic table of character strengths was referenced and the strengths attributed to the champions included: wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance and transcendence.
Under the Justice category, social responsibility applied to 90 percent, followed by the category of Humanity, where more than half of the individuals were recognized for their kindness and love. Other strengths held by these champions were perseverance, leadership, teamwork, courage and optimism.
The campaign consisted of 10 champions, six heroes, 11 honorable mentions and 20 nominees. These hidden heroes are people in our lives who consistently demonstrated their positive character by their actions, their words or good deeds. The champions hailed from New Providence, Andros, Abaco, Grand Bahama and Eleuthera and were made up of two female students in grades six and eight; and eight men ranging from their 20s to retirement age. The occupations included students, educators, a guidance counselor, entrepreneurs, deputy park warden and chefs. Volunteerism, a philanthropic spirit and being high achievers were some of their successful attributes.
The ten Hidden Hero Champion 2020 winners and the character strengths their nominees felt they exemplified include:
Melania Nixon — an 8th grade student at Lyford Cay International School who has a charity called Operation Love and Gratitude. Character strengths: social responsibility, kindness, love and perseverance.
Logan Stubbs — a 6th grade student at St Francis Xavier Lower School who has a charity called Helping Hands. Character strengths: social responsibility, kindness, love and perseverance.
Dr Willard Barr – a retired educator and former district superintendent of the Ministry of Education, a church leader and counselor. Character strengths: leadership, courage and optimism.
Andra (Andy) Smith — the owner of a Fishing Lodge in Andros, a philanthropist, environmentalist and Cacique Award recipient. Character strengths: social responsibility and leadership.
Stephen Smith — a deputy park warden with the Bahamas National Trust, a philanthropist and environmentalist. Character strengths: social responsibility and leadership.
Da Blue Hole Restaurant, Abaco:
Antonio Huyler — a professional chef, philanthropist and volunteer. Character strengths: social responsibility, kindness, love and perseverance.
David Thompson — a professional chef, philanthropist and volunteer. Character strengths: social responsibility, kindness, love and perseverance.
Eleuthera (South and Harbour Island):
Earlyn Mills — a math teacher, volunteer and environmentalist. Character strengths: social responsibility, kindness and teamwork.
Jonathan Kelly — a music and physical education teacher, volunteer fireman and environmentalist. Character strengths: social responsibility, kindness and love.
LaToy Williams — a guidance counsellor. Character strengths: social responsibility and perseverance.
Sonia Brown, president of PACE who launched Character Day Bahamas in 2015, thanked the Bahamas Society for Human Resource Management, Bahamas AIDS Foundation, the Lyford Cay Foundation’s FOCUS program, the Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc and all stakeholders who partnered with PACE to host the campaign.