Inpressive Jamaican scholar
As he has been doing for most of his young life, Romain Jones stole the spotlight in 2014 when he copped first place in computer science in the Caribbean.
And if that were not enough, Romain's academic exploits earned him an enviable first place in Jamaica in applied math and computer science and a respectable fourth in pure math.
Romain, one of the stars out of the Campion College constellation, has come away with six distinctions in the 2014 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) Two.
His multifaceted faculties mastered applied math; pure math; physics; economics; computer science and communication studies.
Before he realised that he was on top of the world, Romain's achievements landed him in Barbados over the summer.
He was one of two Jamaican participants in the annual Student Programme for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE), an intensive four-week enrichment residential summer programme for gifted Caribbean high-school students interested in studying and exploring careers in science and engineering.
SPISE's goal is to help address the low numbers of Caribbean students pursuing advanced degrees in science and engineering, and to groom the next generation of science, engineering technology and business leaders in the region.
"It (SPISE) was good experience," said Romain. "I hope that more than Jamaicans are allowed to participate so that more of them would be able to make use of the opportunity, but there is just not a lot of funds.
With two students participating in 2014 and one in 2013, Romain expressed some hope that the local private sector would come on board to fund more students.
Asked how he was able to accomplish so much, he said: "I really don't know."
He told The Gleaner that he is yet to make up his mind on the course he intends to chart. "At the moment, I am interested in computer science and philosophy but am not really sure right now."
He is, however, quite certain that maths and computer science are in the equation.
When The Gleaner contacted Romain, he was not sitting on any laurels, with the world out there to be conquered.
"I study a lot and I was doing some work, as I am studying for a Maths Examination Oxford to make good on the upcoming entrance examination to Oxford University, the Ivy League school in the United Kingdom."
Romain's mother, Yvonne Cross, and those close to him would hardly be surprised at his latest academic feats, as he has been shining brilliantly from his days at Mona Preparatory School.
"Romain is such a determined individual," said Cross. "He signed up to do five CAPE subjects in June 2014, then he came and told me he wants to do another one to make it six."
Cross said the sixth subject was applied math. Campion did not offer that subject, so she was forced to find a class for him. "I could not find a class, so he said he will do it on his own ... . To complicate matters, the books were not available in Jamaica, so he bought [them] online."
The beaming mother explained that applied mathematics has three sections.
She said to him at the time: "If you get a pass, that is good ... . He turned to me and said, 'Mommy, I am not going there to get any pass, I am going there for a one.' It turned out that he got a one with an 'A' profile and the only student in Jamaica with an 'A' profile in applied math."