Record number of Wolmerians awarded
A record number of students at Wolmer's Boys' School were awarded last Friday for their outstanding achievements in academics at the Mico Auditorium in Kingston.
A far cry from the 17 students who received the Blue Report Award in its inaugural year, 2015's award ceremony saw 473 boys taking home awards for excellent grades and disciplinary records.
Former Wolmer's student and the recipient of the 2015 Jamaica Rhodes Scholar award, Tariq Parker, was the guest speaker at the ceremony.
During his speech, Parker, a past Blue Report Award recipient himself, encouraged the boys to be empowered through education and drove home the point that success without expectation is useless.
"There is an element of expectation after achieving the Blue Report Award to continue to excel [beyond] one's previous best," the 24-year-old said.
"Self-confidence and self-motivation are the ways we manifest our expectation itself; these are the greatest tools we can give ourselves in order to realise our potential."
Of 1,500 students who attend the school, and the 473 who were awarded for their excellence, one second-form student topped them all.
Akil Samuels, a humble, diminutive and astute student, achieved a term average of 93.7 per cent and achieved 10 As - a combination which allowed him to walk home with the top student award.
Akil's mother, Denise Gocul, smiling ear to ear at the end of the ceremony, told The Gleaner she was naturally proud of her second child's achievements.
"I am extremely proud of my son; he has a standard - I have not set a standard for him - of getting more than 90 per cent, and he has kept true to that standard," Gocul said.
She continued: "He is always preparing and always studying and practising to be at the top. I encourage him, I don't push him. For me, I am happy once he does his best."
Akil, who wants to be an architect or businessman, said winning for the second time was "excellent".
When asked if he will take the top performer award into in his third year, he emphatically said, "Yes!"
Wolmer's, the oldest school in Jamaica, has the honour of being the institution with the most Rhodes Scholars, a number which now stands at 23.