Everything ‘Chris' - Chrisanne sparkles in GSAT, bringing pride to 'The Gully Side'
From the moment she held her at birth, Christine Ireland knew that her daughter Chrisanne Hutchinson was special.
Today, the family is still celebrating after Chrisanne, the head girl of the Obistan Preparatory School, fell just short of a perfect score - four hundreds and a 99 - in the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) and is on her way to her school of first choice, Ardenne High.
Her performance has energised an entire inner-city community, but no one is happier than a mother who has given her all for a daughter she is convinced will achieve greatness.
"I don't want to give too much details about my background but just know that we are poor and that I have to struggle to get the best for Chrisanne," said Ireland, as she noted that she is a single woman raising two children in the tough inner-city community of Cassava Piece in St Andrew.
"I am up to my neck in debt. I am a member of a credit union so you will find that when the money goes in, it comes right back out because you have the school fee, lunch and plus, I have a baby to care for," added Ireland, whose sacrifice includes sending her daughter to the Obistan Preparatory School a far distance from Cassava Piece.
Obistan a perfect fit
But Ireland is unapologetic about sending her firstborn to the prep school run by The Church of the Open Bible on Washington Boulevard. According to the proud mother, Obistan was a perfect fit for her daughter.
"When I started sending her to Obistan, it was not so hard because I was getting some financial support from the father, but for me to send my child to a school I look at everything, the surrounding, the facilities, and I like the teaching and the individual attention that students get so I am not just looking at the cost but I want the best for my child."
This is just one of the sacrifices she was prepared to make to get the best for her child despite the tremendous financial stress she faces.
"I tell you, it's hard, you know, it's hard, because I have another little one who is two and it is hard, but see the result there," she said with a loving glance at her daughter.
And that daughter is well aware of the sacrifices her mother has been making to keep her in school. Chrisanne broke down in tears as she reflected on her GSAT success and pointed to her mother's struggles.
"It's nothing easy and with God nothing is hard either. I was crying the day I got the results and it's the first time I have ever cried tears of joy. I knew I got one wrong and I will never forget that question. I am just so happy," declared Chrisanne.
"My mommy is struggling with my school fee, she's not getting hundreds of dollars and my brother is still a baby, so he needs diapers and feeding. She has to be a super mom," added the super-talented youngster.
Plans for mommy
There were more tears as Chrisanne announced her plans for her mother. "The first thing I want to do when I get older is build a mansion for my mommy." The tears continued as she announced her plans for youngsters in her community, dubbed 'The Gully Side'.
"I will try to get more students enrolled in school, and for students who can't afford the extra classes for GSAT preparations, I will try and do the class work for them."
That is the spirit that Chrisanne has always displayed and what has led to her winning the love and support of fellow students and teachers at Obistan.
Additional reporting by Oneneka Brown, Gleaner intern.