Rachel Clarke - St Thomas' shining star
Southaven, St Thomas is home to head girl of The Convent of Mercy (Alpha) Academy, Rachel Clarke.
Clarke, who recently completed her final CAPE exams, told Rural Xpress that over the past seven years she has worked very hard, not only academically, but also through her involvement in the various clubs and societies at the school.
"The position of head girl is quite a demanding position as you are an ambassador for the school and so a lot of areas are looked at (when selecting the best candidate) including academics, discipline and involvement in school. I was selected because I fit all the criteria," she said.
The past student of the Yallahs Primary School has managed to secure many academic achievements including 11 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) passes.
Along with serving as head girl, Clarke is president of the Junior Achiever's Club at Alpha, and a member of the Science and Environmental Club, Debate Society, Tourism Action Club, Sixth Form Association, United Nations Club and a few others.
When asked about her source of inspiration, Clarke credited her mother.
" My biggest inspiration is my mother who is a market vendor. She works so hard and all she asks is that I do my best," she shared.
Clarke's mother has been a vendor for ten years at the Coronation Market in Kingston where she sells seasonal crops including mangoes and plums.
With the hope of becoming a surgeon in the future, the 19-year-old will be starting medical science classes at the University of the West Indies come September.
Describing herself as a "proud country girl", the St Thomas native who was visiting her alma mater during her interview with Rural Xpress, said that as soon as she fulfils her ambition she hopes to help her parish in whatever way she can.
"I would like to open a doctor's office right here in my community because I believe it is important to give back to the community and that is what is really lacking in this parish. I hope to provide free health services to some members, such as the elderly and children on a weekly basis," Clarke revealed.