Sun | Sep 20, 2020

Top PEP students toasted with scholarships

Published:Wednesday | July 24, 2019 | 12:24 AMJudana Murphy/Gleaner Writer
Guardian Life Limited President Eric Hosin speaks with Rachel Gammon, the top-performing girl in the inaugural PEP exams, and Dominic Haisley, the top boy, at the annual Guardian Group Scholarship Awards luncheon at the AC Marriott Hotel in St Andrew yesterday.
Guardian Life Limited President Eric Hosin speaks with Rachel Gammon, the top-performing girl in the inaugural PEP exams, and Dominic Haisley, the top boy, at the annual Guardian Group Scholarship Awards luncheon at the AC Marriott Hotel in St Andrew yesterday.

The top-performing boy and girl in the inaugural sitting of the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) high-school placement examinations were yesterday celebrated by the Guardian Group Foundation.

Dominic Haisley from Sts Peter and Paul Preparatory School in St Andrew and Rachel Gammon from Hopefield Preparatory, also in St Andrew, will both begin new chapters in their academic lives at Campion College this September.

Yesterday, they were awarded scholarships valued at $1 million each at the Guardian Group Foundation’s Scholarship and Grants Awards ceremony at the AC Marriott Hotel in St Andrew. The scholarships will last throughout their five-year high-school tenure.

Twelve-year-old Dominic, who wants to become a lawyer, said his parents were instrumental in preparing him for the exams.

“I’m extremely happy. It was hard, it was difficult because I had to do a lot of studying ... . They helped me to study and they explained the concepts to me,” said Dominic, whose performance in the ability test outshined his love for mathematics.

His mom, Stephane Jackson-Haisley, was grateful for the scholarship. She pointed out that the PEP section in The Gleaner’s Children’s Own and Common Entrance Examinations books proved useful resources along with the recommended textbooks.

“I felt that it was going to be very similar because that (Common Entrance) was mental ability and this was the ability test,” Jackson-Haisley told The Gleaner.

An elated Garfield Haisley said his son’s performance was not totally unexpected.

“He really studied very hard and he has been among the top two or three in his class for his entire prep school life. He is very diligent, focused and committed to his schoolwork and he has achieved what he deserves,” he said.

Becoming a top performer in the placement exams never crossed Rachel’s mind.

“I really just imagined that I’d just barely get into Campion ... . My parents wanted me to go there; I just wanted to make them proud,” said the science lover.

Rachel, who wants to become a neurosurgeon, added that mathematics was her weakest subject, but her parents helped her to face the challenge.

“My mom, she did a lot of math work and she bought so many books, and my dad did a lot of vocabulary with me,” Rachel said.

She performed equally well in mathematics and science in the PEP exam.

CHESS FACTOR

Rachel’s father, Kent Gammon, welcomed the scholarship, noting that he knew his daughter would do well.

“I didn’t know where she would be placed since it was a new exam. We didn’t know how the results would have been collated and assessed, but we’re very proud of her and happy to know that she got the top award,” he told The Gleaner.

“I really want to encourage parents to consider chess because it develops your mind and your mathematical abilities and I personally think that had a lot to do with her success,” he added, pointing out that Rachel participated in swimming and chess while preparing for PEP.

The to- performing children of policyholders and children of Guardian Life employees were also honoured at the ceremony. Kaci Jones secured the top female policyholder scholarship while Micah Gordon got the male award.

“It is our hope that these contributions will ease the stress of financing your children’s education so you can focus on supporting them in other areas. At Guardian, we believe not only in living secure, but also living easy,” Guardian Life President Eric Hosin said.

judana.murphy@gleanerjm.com