Javelle keeps aiming high - Hampton, STETHS, now to UWI
Full of belief and passion, 17-year-old Javelle Stewart is pursuing her academic goal with purpose and determination, and her mother, Winsome Morgan, is committed to her success.
The two are from Siloah, St Elizabeth, and are working from humble beginnings and under challenging circumstances, with the single mother investing her earnings and Javelle the brainpower.
"I do all I can, everything you can ever think of - I work, Oh my God! She's planning to reach a goal, and I see the goal what she's planning to reach and I want her to reach that goal," said Morgan.
Javelle was a bright spark at Siloah Primary, and after the Grade Six Achievement Test, she was placed at the high-achieving Hampton School.
With no father in the house - he left when Javelle was five years old - and with mom selling home-made food to keep bringing in the dollars, there was a big challenge fulfilling the requirements for high school. This pushed Winsome to seek assistance from J. Wray & Nephew Limited (JWN).
"I needed help because Hampton School is very expensive and she wanted to get the best education," said the dedicated mother. She said the idea to approach the company "came from above in a vision".
"Something speak to me, is like an angel just come and say, 'Winsome, do such thing', and I wake up same time and say 'Come, Javelle. Write Appleton a letter,' and she never hesitated ... . She did it," said Morgan.
The letter was given to a family friend to take to JWN's Appleton Estate and led to an interview, where Javelle and her mother were introduced to the scholarship programme run by the J. Wray & Nephew Foundation.
This is one of the offerings by the foundation and is open to residents in areas where J. Wray & Nephew does business.
Since second form, Javelle's tuition, mainly, has been supported through the scholarship, right up to her fifth-form graduation and into her first year of sixth form at St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS), where she transferred last year.
"I have been composing a thank you letter for J. Wray & Nephew from second form and I can't finish," said Javelle with a laugh.
"They did a lot for me and my mother, so I'm grateful ... especially to Mr Ian Maxwell and his secretary, Vashti Mitchell, she called me so much."
According to Javelle, the scholarship placed her at ease.
"In first form, I had my lowest average at Hampton School. It was 81-point-something. From J. Wray & Nephew's assistance, I was like, to whom much is given much is required, and I have never got a low average until sixth form when the work hit me.
"I was inspired to work harder because when somebody is helping you, they want to see the best out of you, and I wanted to see the best out of myself. My mother pushed so hard and I didn't want to let anybody down," added Javelle.
She earned passes in nine subjects last year, with seven grade ones and two grade twos, deciding to switch to STETHS.
"I wanted a change. You need to know different environments to live and work physically in the world. So the straight all-girls environment teaches you to roll with girls and the co-ed environment teach you what happens in the world of boys and girls," laughed Javelle.
"It's different, very different," said Javelle, searching for words. "They're cultured differently. It's different, different - different in BOLD. I could not find a familiarity, it was very different."
But the difference did not scare her and the teen is now ready to move into another environment.
"I've always wanted to go to the University of the West Indies. It's the most prominent school in the Caribbean," said Javelle, who has been accepted to read for a degree in hotel and tourism management at the Mona campus.