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13-y-o gets help to honour mom's dying wish

Published:Saturday | October 4, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Kalesha Ayton collects her scholarship from Dawn Henry, CEO of LMH Publishing Company Limited.-PHOTO BY SHANIQUE SAMUELS

Shanique Samuels, Gleaner Writer

MAY PEN, Clarendon:IN FULFILMENT of her mother's dying wish, young Kalesha Ayton is determined to complete her formal education with the hope of becoming a scientist.

The 13-year-old first-form student at Clarendon College, her mother's alma mater, said she is happy and excited to be able to grace the school grounds and walk the same halls her mother did years ago.

While a student at May Pen Primary School, Kalesha always wanted to attend Clarendon College to pursue her secondary education, and this too was a part of her mother's plan - to see her attend high school and then on to university and, ultimately, to make it into the world as a scientist.

But this was not to be. Although the dream is still alive for Kalesha, her mother will not be around to witness the reality.

In 2008, her mother, fresh out of teachers' college with big dreams and aspirations for her life and that of her only child was diagnosed with breast cancer. After three years of battling the illness, numerous surgeries and failed chemotherapy treatment, she died in 2011.

This devastated Kalesha so much, who was just 10 years old, she had to receive counselling.

Fast forward to 2014 when Kalesha passed for her school of choice. She was happy she had, but sad because her mother couldn't share in her achievement.

Kalesha said life hasn't been the same since her mother died, but she takes comfort in knowing that she is following the path her mother carved for her.

Since 2011, Kalesha has been in the care of her maternal grandmother, Hyline Sewell, who says it has been a struggle to school her granddaughter. "Kalesha is a bright girl, she just bright naturally," said Sewell.

happy to assist

However, Kalesha wouldn't suffer for long, as a well-known family friend reached out to her and was only too happy to assist. Chief Executive Officer of LMH Publishing Limited, Dawn Henry said she didn't have to think twice to lend a hand.

Henry reached out to the James and Friends Education Programme after learning of Kalesha's situation and enquired if she could sponsor her through the programme.

Henry said, "I'm very happy to be participating in a programme such as this which is of so much significance. I know that Kalesha will be in good hands and will make great use of this opportunity."

rural@gleanerjm.com