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Non-Traditional High School Students Awarded for Academic Excellence


JIS: Sixteen students, who attend non-traditional high schools across the island, have been rewarded for their outstanding performance in academics by the National Child Month Committee (NCMC).


The students, many of whom face various challenges, were feted at the NCMC’s annual Youth Academic Achievement Awards ceremony held on Wednesday (June 27) at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston.


They received gift baskets and certificates, book vouchers, plaques, among other things.


Chief Executive Officer of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), Rosalee Gage-Grey, who addressed the gathering said it was a pleasure to celebrate with the young people, who are being awarded for academic excellence, having attained five or more subjects at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) level in 2017.


“You have laboured long and hard, and now success is your reward,” she said.


“These youngsters, represented here today, are a signal of hope for a better Jamaica and a clear demonstration of resilience and perseverance despite the challenges faced,” she added.


Mrs. Gage-Grey said the CPFSA cares about the development of the nation’s children, and thus has remained a partner with the NCMC in the staging of the annual awards ceremony.


She encouraged the students to continue to pursue excellence. “As we congratulate and celebrate with you today, I want to implore you to continue the upward mobility in ensuring that you matriculate to higher education. This can only be achieved by staying focused,” she said.


Chairperson, NCMC, Dr. Pauline Mullings, said that the entity is committed to continuing the awards programme “because we are finding young people who are doing well academically. They have challenging situations, and they are involved in community service [and] giving back”.


“They are from non-traditional high schools… where many persons felt that they could not achieve. We set out to prove to our nation that we have young people who are excelling, who nobody knows, and so we decided that this is the route,” she added.


Britney Huie from Irwin High School in St. James and Emroy McKenzie from Kemps Hill High School in Clarendon, who were named the Top Girl and Top Boy, respectively, expressed gratitude for the recognition.


“I feel real good about being awarded today. My hard work and determination has paid off,” Britney told JIS News.


Emroy said he is “truly grateful for this award. I’ve worked really hard to overcome my challenges, and it feels good to be recognised”.


The other students honoured are Vernal Headley from Hopewell High in Hanover; Shadia Franklin from Troy High and Ramonia Downer from Albert Town High in Trelawny; Sadiki Lindsay from Aabuthnott Gallimore High in St. Ann; Janelle Hallwood from Port Antonio High in Portland; Dacia Dixon from Yallahs High in St. Thomas; Omarie Davis from Penwood High and Anthony Higgins from Tarrant High in St. Andrew; Tyra Hepburn from Bridgeport High in St. Catherine; Toriann Ellis from Denbigh High in Clarendon; Joshoy Stephens from May Day High and Jayda Morgan from Winston Jones High in Manchester; Deandrea Green from Roger Clarke High in St. Elizabeth and Deandra Smith from the Salvation Army School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.


The sponsors of the event are GraceKennedy Group, Kool Runnings Adventure Park, National Baking Company Foundation, Carlong Publishers (Caribbean) Limited, Chukka Foundation, Island Grill, and Insurance Company of the West Indies (ICWI).


CAPTION: Chief Executive Officer, Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), Rosalee Gage-Grey (left), speaking with Britney Huie (second left) from Irwin High School in St. James and Emroy McKenzie from Kemps Hill High School in Clarendon, who were named the Top Girl and Top Boy respectively, at the National Child Month Committee’s (NCMC) Youth Academic Achievement Awards ceremony, held at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on Wednesday (June 27). At left is Chairperson, NCMC, Dr. Pauline Mullings.