Tue | Oct 24, 2017

Support for Little Maleika Granston

Published:Saturday | March 21, 2015 | 12:00 AMShanique Samuels
Maleika Granston receives her certificate from Shericka Gibson. Also participating is the presentation are, from left, uncle, Anthony Maxfield, Christine Bailey and Garfield Gibson.

Maleika Granston was only one month old when her mother died, clutching her in her arms. She was killed under tragic circumstances in the yard in the Effortville community in which they lived. At the time of the incident, everyone thought the baby also died, but the "likkle but tallawah" escaped unhurt: she survived because she was destined for greatness.

Now 10 years old, though small in stature, she is brilliant yet shy and she is making waves at the Effortville Primary School. According to principal, Adrian Sinclair, Maleika is already a prefect even though she is in grade five.

"Usually prefects are chosen from the grade six batch, but Maleika having been identified very early as having natural leadership qualities, was given the student leadership position of prefect. She is very quiet, you will not hear her speak, but at the same time she is very good as it relates to being a leader." Sinclair said she is very focused and consistently does well in the academics. "She is consistent in all subject areas. A review of her last end-of-term exams revealed scores between 80 and 100 per cent. She has always been a high performer," said the proud principal.

James and Friends

Education Programme

Despite her oozing brilliance, the finances weren't forthcoming to keep her in school. Maleika lives with her blind uncle, Anthony Maxfield, since the day her mother died. He does small scale poultry with the help of his niece but business went bad. At that point, the school's guidance counsellor, having knowledge of the James and Friends Education Programme (JFEP) sprung into action. She contacted the coordinator, Otis James, who decided to help. James reached out to Garfield Gibson, proprietor of G. Gibson Petroleum Services, and after hearing little Maleika's story, a partnership was formed and he immediately decided to sponsor her through the programme.

"After hearing her plight and hearing of the JFEP and seeing others onboard, I decided to join and sponsor her. She has got a two-year scholarship package which will cover her school expenses, and is likely to be extended if Maleika continues to do well in school," he said. He added that he is extremely impressed with her behaviour and academic performance, so far, and is very proud to be her sponsor.

Gibson's daughter, Shericka, encouraged her to continue to do well and excel in school and make her uncle and her sponsors proud to have invested in her education.

Meanwhile, Gibson's partner, Christine Bailey, added that she will be looking out for Maleika in a motherly fashion, checking in on her and generally overseeing her welfare since her primary caregiver is visually impaired.

Maleika didn't say much, but the joy and excitement on her face when she was presented the certificate of sponsorship during Monday morning's devotion at school said it all. However, she did say thanks to her sponsors and the JFEP for the surprise gift and promised to continue to do well.

Otis James said, as usual, it is a joy for him and the friends of the programme to assist a child in continuing their education. "God put us on this earth to share with each other and give to those in need. The Bible says if you help one in need, you also help Me," he quoted.

rural@gleanerjm.com