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Tianna Williams top of GSAT class in St Thomas - Parents enforce values of education, dream of a better life

Published:Tuesday | August 19, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Tianna Williams

 Deon P. Green, Gleaner Writer

Despite the humble accommodations in which 12-year-old Tianna Williams resides with her family of six in the quiet fishing village of Rocky Point, St Thomas, she has defied the odds. Tianna scored an average of 84 per cent in the recent Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), landing a place at St Thomas Technical High.

Her progress is part of a blossoming dream of her parents who value education in their quest for a better life.

Tianna's mother, Janet Thompson, a vendor in the Morant Bay market, told The Gleaner: "I enforce the values of education, as I want my four girls to have a better life than me; I continue to dream of a better life for my family, especially my children."

As a result, she ensures that her children attend school every day. Facing economic hardship and other challenges, Thompson finds other sources of income to complement her family's needs. She says the drought has made food expensive and she has been having difficulty operating under the present prices.

The girls are registered in the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH), which provides them with lunch three days each week.

Thompson says she ensures that her children eat properly and regularly.

"Whenever there is no money to buy food, I would get some food at Ms Angela's shop and pay whenever I have money," she added.

Her children's father, Christopher Williams, is a fisherman who works on a boat that pays him a meagre sum.

Life for him is difficult, because he has no boat or fishing equipment for his trade. He said he is, therefore, left to the mercies of those with whom he works. Yet for his girls, he said, "Education is the key."


Although Tianna finds life challenging, she refuses to underperform, and has set her goal on becoming a bank manager.

She told The Gleaner that she enjoys school. She looks forward to seeing her friends, Khalice, Aaliyah, Amanda and Tishay, with whom she enjoys extra-curricular activities. Mathematics is her favourite subject. She had high praises for her teacher, Anmarie Fairweather.

She emphasised that Fairweather, at Duckenfield Primary School, was an excellent teacher, loving and caring, while ensuring that the children in her class did the best they could.

And what keeps Tianna focused? Reading and singing. In her spare time, she watches television. She also assists her mother with her younger siblings.