NOTE: Written by the Cayman Islands Government as part of the "Proud of Them" campaign
Although just in his early 20’s, Hakeem Bush is a role model to his peers, and a beacon of pride to older relatives and community members.
From an early age, Hakeem plotted the career path that he would eventually take. After high school, at the age of 17, he qualified as an aircraft pilot. The following year he earned his commercial pilot wings, completing a complex and challenging certification regime.
He then trained in safety systems management, and went on to become a captain at the age of 22.
Mr. Bush’s most significant accomplishment was to obtain his airline transport pilot license the following year at the age of 23, which qualifies him to command even larger craft. Continuing his training, he has since begun an engineering degree.
Employed by Cayman Airways since 2008, he flies Cayman Airways Express routes and also serves as First Officer on the 737 jet aircraft between international destinations.
While he credits the support of his family and older pilots with feeding his passion for flying, the sheer determination and focus of the young man has held him in good stead over the years.
In turn, he has always been willing to guide and assist other young people with similar interests – serving as an example for those with high aspirations.
Minister responsible for Youth, Hon Osbourne Bodden noted: “Young people like Hakeem are to be commended for seizing the many opportunities for youth that exist in the Cayman Islands, and for using these opportunities to become a meaningful part of the life of our islands, both as a work force contributor and in the community sphere.”
A purposeful student, he graduated from John Gray High school in 2007, with honours. His early academic career earned him “best report” accolades. He also served as house captain, and a member of the school board.
Mr. Bush says he hopes to dedicate more time to community work. A member of the Rotaract Club of Grand Cayman, he adds that he is slowly taking on more a more active role, assisting with various projects, such as the Club’s goal of contributing to the worldwide eradication of polio.
These professional and community minded activities are balanced by athletic interests. Coming from a competitive and sporting family, Mr. Bush plays a number of sports, but believes that his niche is on the squash court. This he says is the game he most enjoys pursuing.
Away from his fast-paced life and the duties of his career, Mr. Bush still relishes time spent on the Sister Islands, where the “peaceful, slow-paced and easy-going life” offers him solace, and possibly… a retirement refuge for his later years.
The "Proud of Them" initiative recognises the positive achievements of young persons aged between 10 – 25 years. Through a public nomination process, individuals are honoured in the categories of Academics, Careers, Business, Sports, Culture or Community Service. Each person selected will be featured for six months at a time on billboards established across the Cayman Islands, and will also receive a certificate and $500.