Tue | May 23, 2017

Cespedies struggle to greatness

Published:Friday | June 26, 2015 | 6:00 AM
Chevel Cespedies of St Richard’s Primary School, who had a perfect score in the recent GSAT, with her mother, Eileen Smith.
From left: Chevel Cespedies, Robert Neil and Matthew Sinclair of St Richard’s Primary School, the three students with the highest Grade Six Achievement Test scores at the St Andrew-based school.
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"I always wanted to make my mummy happy and my other family members proud of me, so that was my motivation to pass GSAT (Grade Six Achievement Test)," Chevel Cespedies told The Gleaner.

Despite the challenges that this 11-year-old St Richard's Primary student faced, she scored full marks in the examination and is bound for Campion College at the start of the next school year.

Great things are achieved through hard work as Chevel told The Gleaner that she had to sacrifice the enjoyment of playing or relaxing to study for exams.

"I was stressed out, it was just crazy. Staying up all night studying was really tiring and hard and I didn't get a lot of play time. I don't know how I did it, but I did it and I am excited," she said.

Money for extra classes was also a challenge for her single mother, Eileen Smith, who only knew how to help her daughter prepare for the exams through workshop classes.

"To be honest, I was not familiar with the curriculum, but I sent her to a lot of extra classes. Saturday class, night class, summer class. St Richard's has the most classes and this was expensive, but this was how I showed my support and helped her to prepare," Smith said. "I am overjoyed about her passes," she continued.

Scholarship hopes

Smith is hopeful that her daughter will be one of the recipients of a scholarship, as she doesn't know where the money will come from to cover school expenses.

"I am a single parent and it is hard on me, so I am hoping for the best; even if she don't [doesn't] get one of the government scholarships there must be other scholarships somewhere," Smith told The Gleaner.

Smith continues to look forward to her daughter achieving greatness as she hopes Chevel will pass the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) with perfect scores as she did in GSAT.

"Success is not new to us, as she got full marks in her grade-four literacy exam and has been receiving [academic] awards since basic school. so I hope she continues to perform well in CXC and CAPE when the time comes."

A bit of advice for future GSAT student from Chevel is to "Study hard and don't be distracted by silly things. Concentrate and do your best."

- Rasheda Myles