Janiel Williams – Excellence Personified
While several university students have returned to school with the uncertainty as to where their tuition funds will come from or how the outstanding balances will be paid, 19-year-old Janiel Williams is looking forward to making use of the fruits of her labour in the form of a three-year scholarship to the University of the West Indies (UWI).
The past student of the Decarteret College sixth-form programme was quick to grab an opportunity that could possibly aid her development in the future.
"It was a competition that included students from all over the island that were competent in vocational areas. My profile was submitted to the Ministry of Education by my teachers, and that's how I entered," she said.
"I had no real knowledge of what the prizes were, though I had my hopes set on making it to the top three. It wasn't until after the announcement that I realised I had won and would be receiving a three-year scholarship."
The awards ceremony, held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston recently, saw hundreds of expectant students, but in the end, Williams was announced as the recipient of the National NCTVET Student of the Year Award (including a $200,000 cash award) and the keeper of the NCTVET trophy.
Having started the programme at the University of Technology in business administration with a major in banking and finance, Williams said she would move on to the UWI come September to start her BSc in economics and statistics.
"I had the option of going to any of the UWI campuses, but I have decided to go to Mona. I cried when I heard my name. Words could not express the joy I felt having been acknowledged for my efforts. I never knew I would walk away the winner. I didn't even do a speech. It was only after hearing my name that I hurriedly jotted down some things."
Williams, who aspires to gain employment at the Bank of Jamaica upon completing her degree, said she was eagerly awaiting the experiences to come and the future rewards of her efforts.
"This is just the start. I know there's a lot more in store for me. I didn't know that all the work I was doing would result in this, but it is an awesome feeling."
Williams' parents are proud and have sacrificed a lot to see their daughter's success.
"Since she was at primary school, she has been doing well right up to high school. Her teachers always told me that she was a special child, and I told them they're right. She may be lazy when it comes on to housework, but she doesn't joke when it comes on to academics. Her father, brother, and I are extremely happy and proud of her," said her mother.