Hard work makes Genielle a sparkling scholar
Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer
For once, the bubbly 18-year-old sixth-form scholar of St Andrew High School, Genielle Williams, was at a loss for words.
She was asked by Outlook how she was able to repeatedly accomplish superlative academic feats when she participated in just about every extra-curricular activity at her school.
A pause, then the inevitable smile. "That's a really good question," she mused, clearly buying time. "I brought time management and prioritising into my work," she finally supplied.
Williams disclosed that her achievement also took the solid advice of one her mentors at St Andrew High School. "My year supervisor always said that there is a difference between urgency and importance," she disclosed.
She is now ready to make the transition from high school into the challenging medical faculty of the University of the West Indies in the new academic year, with perfect scores from her Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).
Outlook was told that a shriek escaped her lips when she found out that she was accepted at the region's premier institution to study medicine.
And she would have it no other way, as she was determined to remain on Jamaican soil. "I want to build my nation," she declared simply.
The sparkling teen, who looks like anything but the stereotypical nerd, just does not seem to know how to do anything with less than distinctions at just about every level. She copped distinctions in chemistry, biology, mathematics and Caribbean studies in the CAPE, Unit Two, in 2014.
It was a feat that she had repeated from Unit One in 2013, with communications studies being changed to Caribbean studies in 2014. She received nine distinctions in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate after the five-year journey that catapulted her to sixth form.
The young scholar has brought new meaning to the term 'pleasant modesty' as she recalls that she served as deputy head girl of St Andrew High, one of several positions that demanded her attention and time.
Williams also served as chairperson of her school's Spirit Committee; captain of her school house, and her dance troupe; editor for the year book, and an executive member of the Students' Council.
It was as if dancing at St Andrew was not enough for the seemingly untiring teen, she took a year's break in lower sixth form to dance her way through the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts - her father's stomping ground.
With so many activities on her plate in 2014, Williams learnt one important lesson - despite her willingness and her love to assist, there is a limit to her scope. "I realised that there is no way that I can have everything and do everything," she chuckled.
She thinks that her reliable personality has drawn persons to her. "People know that I will always get things done, because I am a perfectionist," she smiled.
Beyond the hectic schedule at school, she was quick to emphasise that she is in possession and control of an enjoyable and active social life.
For one, she does not miss a Saturday night lyme with the young people of the Swallowfield Chapel in Kingston. "Church service on a Sunday morning is a must for Genielle," revealed her mother, Annie Blake Williams, who, her daughter gushed, is her best friend.
With her mom describing her as "not being a morning person", with the inevitable radiance emanating later, Genielle explained that the reason may very well be because she is up studying until the wee hours of the morning.
Her tight schedule involves getting home from school, sleeping between 6 and 9 p.m; carrying out work related to her various extra-curricular responsibilities between 9 and 11 p.m, then schoolwork between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m.
Of both her parents - her mother and father Eugene, vice-principal at Jamaica College and the director of drama studies at the Edna Manley College, respectively, she gushed, "Of course, they are my best friends!"
Her mother describes her as very disciplined and balanced. "I am not boasting, but I really don't have some of the challenges that other parents do," she explained. "She only watches the news package of television and Schools' Challenge Quiz."
But even as the camaraderie between mom and daughter is quite evident, both agree that the stabilising influence in the 18-year-old's life is her father.
While he makes no bones about the fact that he expects the best of his daughter, it was crystal clear that she adores him.
"He is amazing," she declares.