Tue | Feb 20, 2018

Jose Marti honours students

Published:Thursday | January 11, 2018 | 12:00 AMRuddy Mathison/Gleaner Writer
José Martí awardees and past studentsat the school's 41st Founders' Day celebrations on Wednesday.
Head boy Andrew Frazer being presented with his award by past student Rosemarie Edwards, international ambassador for the organization.
Past student Dr Anthony Blackwood presenting grade eight student Alrick Sterling with his bursary package.
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The Jose Marti High School in St Catherine celebrated its 41st anniversary by honouring 38 students for their outstanding achievements in various disciplines.

The Founders Day awards ceremony took place at the school during devotions on Wednesday. It was spearheaded by members of the past students association, some of whom travelled from North America to participate in the celebrations, which awarded bursaries and trophies to students.

Head Boy Andrew Frazer received the Jose Marti Alumni Association New York Chapter's award for his outstanding achievement in the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination, while Jad-Al Clarke and Sashaian King were presented with the Norman McPherson Canada award for hard work and consistency in sports.

Grade seven students Monique Bennett and David Burnett were awarded the Winston Newell and Joseph Earle trophies for academic excellence. Six other students from grade nine to 10 were given the same awards for consistency in academic performances, while some 30 others received benevolence packages.

Alrick Sterling, a grade eight student, received J$20,000 and US$200 for honesty; this is in addition to the bursary he received as a needy student. Principal Dr Austin Wright disclosed that Sterling had found $2,000 on the school compound and handed it over to him.

 

DON'T BLAME OTHERS

 

Guess speaker Dr Anthony Blackwood, from the class of 1979, challenged the students to be their best and to change the world for the better

"When in doubt, just take the next step; don't lock yourself in a cocoon's nest and stay there," Wright advised. "It is easy for us to say life is unfair, but when we start saying this, we start to blame other folks. Don't go blaming other people for what you become in life."

Referencing the story of a man who broke the law and had to be sentenced by a judge who was one of his classmates, Blackwood charged the students to emulate the best.

"If you are going to be represented in court by one of your peers, don't let them represent you as a criminal but as a businessman. Don't compare your life with others; you don't know what their journey is about," said Blackwood, adding that everyone is responsible for what they want and become in life.

President of the Past Students Association, Beverly Malcolm, said this year's Founders Day awards were even better than before, with the New York chapter coming on board to donate more bursaries.

"We have this benevolence towards the school; we try our best to give to the students knowing that some of them cannot afford certain basic things. Here we are trying to make an impact with what we do for the school with which we share a special connection; and this is why we are motivated to give back," Malcolm stated, imploring other past students to get on board.