Brilliant Nevinne needs help to go to medical school - Top performer leaves Anchovy High School with 19 subjects
It would appear that the number 19 holds much significance in the life of Nevinne Blake, a resident of Bethel Town, Westmoreland, who recently graduated from Anchovy High School in St James at age 19 with a grand total of 19 subjects between the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).
In this year’s examinations, Blake, who emerged as the top-performing CAPE student at the school, scored five distinctions in CAPE Unit 2, an exceptional feat, considering the dislocation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted normal school and robbed students of face-to-face interactions with their teachers.
“I was nervous at first, but when I checked and I saw the grades, I was so excited because I knew I put out the work and got these distinctions,” said Blake, who scored grade ones in biology, Caribbean studies, chemistry, physics, and pure mathematics. “These results mean so much to me. It is now easier, academically, to get into the course I wanted to do.”
Prior to sitting her CAPE Unit 2 subjects, Blake passed nine CSEC subjects with grade ones in biology, physics, chemistry, geography, human and social biology, mathematics, English A, English B, and electronic document preparation and management and a grade two in agricultural science. She also passed five CAPE Unit 1 subjects, attaining grade ones in biology and communication studies; grade twos in physics and chemistry; and grade three in pure mathematics.
“I want to be a nurse or a doctor, but I know it will be an uphill task for my mom to afford that cost, based on the challenges she had in helping me to complete high school and sixth form,” said Blake. “I am currently looking for scholarships to commence my studies because I know that an investment in me is an investment in Jamaica.”
According to Blake, financing her schooling has been quite tough on her mother, Lelieth Bryan, who does poultry rearing to provide for the family.
“For my entire years of high school, through to sixth form, it has been my mom,” Blake said. “Sometimes I wished that my dad was alive because I know that even a certain level of discipline, he would have been the one to give that to me.”
Blake was awarded a place at Excelsior High School following her sitting of the now-defunct Grade Six Achievement Test but chose Anchovy High as her parents had relocated from Kingston to Westmoreland.
“I used to live in Kingston before my family migrated to Westmoreland, and then my dad died three months after. Since then, it was left up to my mom to shoulder the responsibilities of sending me and my other sister to school,” she recalled. “I watched my mom struggle to send me and my sister to school. I do wish, at times, it wasn’t that hard on her.”
Blake’s 44-year-old mother holds high hopes for her daughter, who she is quite proud of. She wants to see her daughter ultimately moving on to university, where she hopes she will earn a medical degree.
“Nevinne wants to become a nurse or a medical doctor, but I don’t have it,” said Bryan, the mother of five children. “I have since set up a GoFundMe account to help raise the money so she can go to university. I wouldn’t mind if she can get a scholarship because it’s very hard on me.”