An excellent, happy Hastings family
Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer
HEATHER HASTINGS is a proud mother these days - and understandably so.
It's a welcome rarity in Jamaica that both daughter and son in one family excel academically - one to which she and her husband Lynval can attest.
Naturally, the couple would have been joyful when their daughter Amara Hastings aced the five subjects she sat in the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) Unit One. But their younger son, Jabari, a bronze medallist in the Central American and Caribbean Mathematical Olympiad, signalled that he can perform as well.
Their youngest sister, Okera, who will be entering third form at Campion at the start of the academic year, looks at the friendly academic tussle before she joins the fray in two years' time.
Amara, a 17-year-old student of Immaculate Conception High School, earned grade one in biology, chemistry, physics, Spanish and communication studies.
Although Amara has signalled that she is possessed with multi-dimensional aptitude, she remains undecided on the career path she intends to pursue as she enters upper sixth form.
"I am not certain of what I would like to become in the future. However, I know that in whichever field I pursue, it will be one in which I can help and impact people positively," she shared.
She said her parents are big influences in her life. "My parents encourage me to strive and reach for the stars," she declared. "They do what they can in their power to help me, and more importantly, they are satisfied with my efforts as long as I have tried my best."
That they laud all her achievements and encourage her to work harder is a big thing in Amara's book. "They are always there for me," she said.
Amara's younger brother, 16-year-old Jabari of Campion College, signalled that he would be sharing in the spotlight when he scored big in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations.
Jabari walked away with 10 distinctions in mathematics, English A, English B, physics, chemistry, information technology, technical drawing, geography, additional mathematics and Spanish.
The brilliant teen also obtained a distinction in CAPE Pure Mathematics Unit 1.
"I am primarily self-motivated, but look at successes of students in previous years for their examinations as inspiration," said Jabari. "I like to search for new, stimulating challenges that allow me to stretch."
He points to his attempt to juggle CAPE mathematics, the Jamaican Mathematical Olympiad as well as his coursework this year as classic examples. "Yet, I managed to haul in impressive examination results as well as a bronze medal in the Central American and Caribbean Mathematical Olympiad," he said.
Like his sister, Jabari is still undecided about his career path. "I hope to have to a clearer idea of my future," he said. "Although I have openly voiced interest in science and technology, the field is extremely wide. Fortunately, I still have time, albeit gradually decreasing, to decide," he added.