Sun | Dec 11, 2016

Fight for your future

Published:Wednesday | September 17, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Kasan Martin-Troupe, principal, Denbigh High School, Clarendon, addresses students during the Jamaica National Scholarship Awards reception, held at Knutsford Court Hotel on Sunday. Gladstone Taylor/Photographer

Bad-girl-turned-principal of Denbigh High School
Kasan Martin-Troupe, encourages students to rise above obstacles


A SELF-PROCLAIMED gang leader and bad girl in high school, Kasan Martin-Troupe, now principal of Denbigh High School, Clarendon, knows a thing or two about being reformed. She is encouraging Grade Six Achievement Test scholarship recipients to continue to strive for academic excellence.

Speaking at the 140th anniversary of the Jamaica National Building Society scholarship awards reception at Knutsford Court hotel, on Sunday, Martin-Troupe shared how she excelled from what would be considered a depraved situation to become a symbol of excellence.

"I wasn't supposed to be here today. I was brought up in Greenwich Town, I don't know my father, I understand that he has 25 of us, and I don't even know half of them, my mother had two of us, thanks be to God," she said.

"God would have it, I was enrolled in a rehabilitation programme because me a bad girl, mi love fight and all, and they sent me off to camp in the country, because I had to go to boot camp because something was wrong with this girl. I was angry. I knew only to fight because that is what we saw in the community," Martin-Troupe shared.

"I went and I was rehabilitated and I got help. I got persons to help me to believe in myself. I was able to rise above my circumstances," she added.

Martin-Troupe urged the 31 GSAT scholars, who received scholarships to high schools across the island, to remember the acronym, P.R.I.Z.E, which would be the groundwork to their success.

"P stands for 'prayer' and 'persistence'. You are not too young to develop a relationship with God. He should be first in your lives," she said.

Martin-Troupe explained that the R represents 'real'.

"Be real with yourselves. Don't bother with the pretence and the self-deception...we don't all have the same opportunities at our disposal.We don't all have the same strengths and talents, and we have to learn to deal with that and blossom with what we have."

The 'I' in her acronym represents 'icon'. She described it as, "a symbol of hope, a role model, the exception and not the norm. Excellence is doing the common things uncommonly well," she said. The Z represents zealous. "You must want to be successful. You must be passionate in pursuit of excellence. It is all well and good to say you want to be a doctor, but if you are not obsessed with what it takes to get there, then you have a next thing coming," she said.

The 'E', she, explained, stands for 'education'. She told the high achievers that they are to take it seriously.

"It is an investment in self," she said.

sheldon.williams@gleanerjm.com