Shanoy overcomes adversities
Tamara Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Torn, stripping and wearing away was the condition of her shoes; low and some days empty was the condition of her pockets; but focused, determined and destined for greatness was the state of her mind.
Twelve-year-old Shanoy Kates is one of the students the Bethabra Primary and Junior High School is celebrating today after her achievement of an 87.5 per cent average in the Grade-Six Achievement Test earlier this year.
Kates, who will be moving on to the all- girl institution Bishop Gibson High School, says it was hard work with many sacrifices made, but a worthwhile ending.
"I had to give up lunch time, I had to go to bed late so I could put in extra study time, especially for Language arts that I had the hardest time with, among other things, but I'm happy it all worked out," she said.
Kates, an aspiring psychiatrist, whose faith is akin to that of a mature adult, did not worry about the daunting factors outside of studies, but continued to pray for her success and better days for her family.
Her mother, Lorene Wright, on the other hand, worried day and night and on some days depression would get the better of her.
"It's not easy being a single parent finding money for two children, because I have an older daughter who is in sixth form, and some days I have to hide the money from myself so I don't use it, because I know they have to go to school."
Wright, who has been a cook at the Bethabra Infant School for the past five years, said she was happy for her daughter's persistence because it has motivated her.
"I remember when I told her the shoes were getting too bad now and she said to me, 'Mommy, I"ll polish it; a school me a go enuh'. She wouldn't let anything stop her ... . I remember, too, when all she got to go to school was $100 and they were having GSAT marathon that cost $1,500 for three days and she saved from that $100 every day to pay for the marathon," said the proud mother.
Wright, who works a small salary, said there are weeks when paying bills overrides buying food, and basic needs are put on hold.
"I didn't get the opportunity to go to high school; my parents couldn't afford it, but my daughter has so much potential I want to do everything I can for her to succeed. I throw a little partner, I plant my cash crops, I burn my coal; anything I can, I will do for her."