I worked hard for it – Jenice Clarke

Jamaica Gleaner - - PUBLIC PROCUREMEN­T - Carl Gilchrist/Gleaner Writer

CON­TIN­U­ING A tra­di­tion of ex­cel­lence that has been em­bed­ded in the psy­che of the St Ann-based St Hilda’s Dioce­san High School, 17-year-old Jenice Clarke aced her Caribbean Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion Cer­tifi­cate (CSEC) ex­am­i­na­tions to emerge as one of the school’s top per­form­ers this year.

Jenice scored grade ones in seven sub­jects: bi­ol­ogy, math­e­mat­ics, Span­ish, English lan­guage, English lit­er­a­ture, prin­ci­ples of busi­ness and agri­cul­tural sci­ence, and a grade two in so­cial stud­ies.

While there might have been a tinge of dis­ap­point­ment in scor­ing a grade two in so­cial stud­ies, Jenice is sat­is­fied with her over­all per­for­mance.

“I was sort of dis­ap­pointed when I saw it (grade two), but in all things we have to give thanks. I know I worked and I worked hard, I wanted a bet­ter grade, but I be­lieve I got what I worked for. All is good, I’m sat­is­fied with it,” Jenice told The Gleaner.

She de­scribes her five years at St Hilda’s as hav­ing gone by quickly and a time when she not only gained aca­dem­i­cally but also per­son­ally, learn­ing life lessons along the way.

“It’s such a good en­vi­ron­ment and I can’t be­lieve it’s gone by so quickly,” she rem­i­nisced.

While her level of ded­i­ca­tion might have been the main driv­ing force be­hind her suc­cess, Jenice is quick to ac­knowl­edge per­sons who would have con­trib­uted to her suc­cess in the ex­am­i­na­tions.

“I have a lot of per­sons who would say, ‘Okay, Jenice, you can do this.’ At times when I might say this is be­com­ing too much, I have a lot of per­sons. I have my mother, Con­sta­ble Erika McKen­zie, I have my sib­lings, friends, teach­ers like Mr Thomas, Mr Am­pon­sah, Mrs Wil­liams, who would look at me and say, ‘You can do this.’ So yes, I guess it’s be­cause I’m ded­i­cated, but I also have a lot of per­sons be­hind me.”

Those per­sons would also in­clude sev­eral who Jenice would have met in study groups that were formed by stu­dents from across the Caribbean as they stud­ied for ex­ams dur­ing the COVID-19 pan­demic. Jenice was in a group with hun­dreds of other stu­dents from Ja­maica, Trinidad, Guyana, Barbados, Cay­man Is­lands, shar­ing re­sources, dis­cussing top­ics and as­sist­ing each other.

On top of it all, though, there was mom.

“In times of des­per­a­tion, there has al­ways been my mother. There’s never a time she wasn’t there for me,” Jenice ac­knowl­edged.

And al­though she still has lots of time to de­cide, she is yet to set­tle on a ca­reer choice.

“I’m wa­ver­ing be­cause I have a pas­sion for a lot of stuff. I like teach­ing, I’m a busi­ness lover, I like en­trepreneur­ship, and agri­cul­ture,” she pointed out, adding that she could well end up spe­cial­is­ing in more than one field.

But the wa­ver­ing there has not put her jour­ney on pause, as she has al­ready be­gun the next phase, hav­ing reg­is­tered for sixth form, where she is now study­ing bi­ol­ogy, Caribbean stud­ies, so­ci­ol­ogy, man­age­ment busi­ness, and eco­nom­ics. She aims to do just as well, or even bet­ter, in the Caribbean Ad­vanced Pro­fi­ciency Ex­am­i­na­tion (CAPE) later on.


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