CDA praises top achiev­ers in state care

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT - Syranno Baines Gleaner Writer syranno.baines@glean­erjm.com

YOUNGSTERS IN state care con­tinue to defy ad­ver­sity and are us­ing ed­u­ca­tion as a means of cat­a­pult­ing them­selves to­wards a brighter fu­ture.

Seventy-three wards of the State were awarded at the Child De­vel­op­ment Agency’s Ed­u­ca­tional Achieve­ment Awards Cer­e­mony held at the Terra Nova Ho­tel, St An­drew, last week.

Seven­teen-year-old Neyli-Ann Scott and De­lano Mal­colm ranked top among the lot of CSEC awardees at the gath­er­ing.

Mal­colm, a grad­u­ate of God­frey Ste­wart High School in Sa­vanna-La-Mar, West­more­land, is one such pupil us­ing hard work as a key to un­lock­ing suc­cess.

He at­tained seven CSEC passes – four grade ones, two grade twos and one grade three. He also had two dis­tinc­tions in Na­tional Coun­cil on Tech­ni­cal and Vo­ca­tional Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing (NCTVET) auto me­chanic (Lev­els one & two).

Mal­colm has resided with his fos­ter par­ents in Darlis­ton, West­more­land, since the ten­der age of three. The only child for his fos­ter par­ents, he ac­knowl­edges that not a great deal is known about his bi­o­log­i­cal par­ents.

“My cur­rent par­ents try the ut­most best to mo­ti­vate me for aca­demic suc­cess,” Mal­com said. He is now en­rolled at Peters­field High School in West­more­land as as­sis­tant dean of dis­ci­pline. His aim is to be­come a teacher.

DIDN’T BE­LONG

Top fe­male achiever Scott, a past stu­dent of St Hilda’s High School in St Ann, achieved five grade ones, two grade twos and one grade three. “No mat­ter what you go through, ev­ery­one can achieve. Set your goals and go for them,” she en­cour­aged other chil­dren of the State.

Scott is pur­su­ing her as­so­ci­ate de­gree in crim­i­nal jus­tice at the Moneague Col­lege in St Ann.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of the CDA, Ros­alee Gage-Grey, told The Gleaner: “They’ve ad­justed well and have con­verted the fam­ily sup­port into good aca­demic per­for­mances. We have seen im­prove­ment [move] up from 54 awardees last year. Chil­dren with fos­ter par­ents tend to do much bet­ter.” From left: At­tor­ney-at-law Derek Jones, CEO of Sagi­cor Richard Byles and Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion Ruel Reid share a mo­ment at the Ja­maica Col­lege’s in­au­gu­ral PTA Din­ner and Awards Cer­e­mony, held last Wed­nes­day at The Ja­maica Pe­ga­sus ho­tel, New Kingston.

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