Ten Hidden Hero Champions announced for Character Day Bahamas 2020


During the extraordinary times of 2020, many people around the globe were faced with incredible hardships that had profound life changing events. In the past 15 months, enduring the aftermath of the destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian and the havoc of the COVID-19 pandemic, dampened spirits for most Bahamians. 

Thankfully at the beginning of 2021, we have reason to celebrate ten champions of the PACE Foundation’s 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 4 million people across 200,000 groups and spanned 125 countries. For the past 4 years in The Bahamas, focus had involved schools and organizations.  

Sonia Brown, president of PACE who launched Character Day Bahamas in 2015 said, “We are so grateful to the Bahamas Society for Human Resource Management, Bahamas AIDS Foundation, the Lyford Cay Foundation’s FOCUS program and all those who have partnered with PACE to host our campaign. Thankfully we were viable because we received a 3-year grant from the Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc.” 

The campaign consisted of 10 champions, 6 heroes, 11 honourable 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 6 and 8 and eight men ranging from their 20’s to retirement age. The occupations included students, educators, a guidance counsellor, 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: 

New Providence: 

  • 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 – owner of a Fishing Lodge in Andros is a philanthropist, environmentalist, and Cacique Award recipient. 

Character strengths: Social responsibility and leadership 

  • Stephen Smith – deputy park warden with the BNT, a philanthropist and environmentalist. 

Character strengths: Social responsibility and leadership 


  • Da Blue Hole Restaurant: 

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 – an educator – math teacher, volunteer and environmentalist 

Character strengths: Social responsibility, kindness and teamwork. 

  • Jonathan Kelly – an educator – music and physical education, volunteer fireman and environmentalist 

    Character strengths: Social responsibility, kindness and love. 

Grand Bahama: 

  • LaToy Williams – a guidance counsellor 

Character strengths: Social responsibility and perseverance. 

Project coordinator Charlene Carey said, “It is refreshing to share these hidden heroes with the public. They are influential leaders in their own right. We know that character is malleable – it’s flexible and that one can change any weaknesses to strengths. We have great resources and programs that we have rolled out and our website has fantastic information that you can check out.” 

Nominators were asked to choose the top three strengths that 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%, 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 persons who were nominated for Character Day Bahamas are like nation-builders.  The characteristics of these wonderful people illustrate the great people that they are, and our campaign helps to shine the light on their contribution to their communities.” said Brown. 

More information on the Hidden Hero Campaign, champions, heroes, honourable mentions and nominees, as well as valuable resources, are available at http://www.characterdaybahamas.org.  

PACE (Providing Access To Continued Education) Foundation is a non-profit that supports the work of the PACE Programme, a special school for teenage mothers. They firmly believe that everyone deserves a second chance and have had the privilege of giving second chances to teenage mothers for the past fifty (50) years. More information about PACE can be found at http://www.pacebahamas.com