Monique does it for her late father
When she was approaching the Grade Six Achievement Test, Monique Bennett's father made it clear that he wanted her to attend the Spanish Town, St Catherine-based St Jago High School.
He died before she could get to St Jago, but his memories pushed Monique to not only to get into the outstanding school, but perform well while there.
"One of my aims was to make him proud even though he was not physically around to experience this moment," the 17-year-old told The Gleaner after the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) results were released recently.
Monique, who lives with her grandmother Ruby Myers in the small rural district of Time and Patience in Linstead, St Catherine, aced mathematics, English language, English literature, geography, history, social studies, information technology, and Spanish.
"I would get home from school late sometimes because of extended day school and transportation problems, but I was able to manage my time studying from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. consistently," said Monique, who has set her sights on a career in law.
She is grateful to the teachers at St Jago, who she said helped her in every way possible, and her grandmother, who assisted her tremendously by preparing her meals and waking her up to study.
"One challenge I faced was not having a laptop, but I was able to get access to one sometimes, which clearly bridged the time gap, because normally, I would have to go to the Internet cafÈ, and this consumed a lot of time," said Monique.
For her grandmother, Monique's success is bittersweet.
"I am overjoyed but sad that her father is not alive to experience this moment. She has not let me down. Now [that] she has started to achieve her goal, I can only support her going forward," said Myers.