Jodiann Hall, silently defying odds
"SUCCESS CAN only be defined by you, and if you want it, you will have to work hard," was the quiet assertion of Jodiann Hall, one of the success stories of the 2014 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations.
In stressing that the path to success was not a cakewalk, Jodiann did what she had been doing since she was four years old - silently defying odds without fanfare to rise from the ashes like the proverbial phoenix.
"The examination was definitely not a walkover, it's not easy, but I was prepared," said the taciturn 16-year-old student of Ardenne High School.
"In being prepared, it wasn't really very challenging, it became quite manageable as I ensured that I was prepared for it," she explained.
Jodiann betrayed little if any emotions as she competed with thousands of other Jamaican students hoping to get a first glimpse of the result of five years of hard work.
Then on Tuesday night about 10 o'clock, Jodiann's characteristically serene demeanour, silent approach and cool head, once again stood the test.
Data revealed that she had copped all eight subjects with ones in this year's CSEC examinations. That she earned straight 'A's in mathematics, agricultural science and accounts served as testimony to the fortitude of a student who had been overcoming odds since her first grade in primary school.
She also received ones in English language, information technology, human and social biology, principles of business and food and nutrition.
Jodiann allowed herself to celebrate a little bit more loudly than her normal self, but a lot less loudly than her ecstatic mother, Rose Sangster, a midwife at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital, who had been wrestling with her daughter to focus on her books instead of her mobile phone, particularly at nights.
Jodiann told The Gleaner that she started studying intensely from January. "Some nights, I also had to 'bleach' a lot, had to juggle the projects School-based Assessment) and homework, then it became even more intense leading up to May when the examinations started."
She disclosed that her next intended step is Ardenne sixth form, where she plans to pursue management of business; economics and communications, as well as accounting, then on to university to study marketing.
Students with 6 As and more in CSEC who would like to be featured, please submit details and photograph to firstname.lastname@example.org.