Simply the best - Remedial student tops graduating class

Published: Monday | September 7, 2009

Nadisha Hunter, Gleaner Writer


Nicholas Whyte started Denham Town High as a remedial student but five years later he topped all schoolmates in Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations with eight subjects, including four distinctions.

The 18-year-old resident of Cloverly Road, central Kingston, said the numerous challenges he faced only served to motivate him.

"My father was disappointed when he heard that I was not qualified to sit in the normal classes and I felt like I failed him, so I decided that nothing would stop me from excelling," he The Gleaner.

Though he was determined to improve his level of literacy, obstacles were there to slow down his progress. Among those were financial challenges and the death of his mother.

"It was only two months after I started the remedial class that my mom died and so I had decided that I would give up," he said.

"I was working to improve my parents' living condition so that I could make them proud, but all I could get was death news. She didn't know anything about school and I wanted to make a difference in her life," he added.

Positive influence

Luckily, the youngster's aunt was there to quickly pull him back on track.

"My aunt was there to encourage me along the way until I finally decided to put my problems aside," he stated.

Though his study time was sometimes interrupted by the sound of gunshots and loud music in his inner-city community, he kept his nose in his books.

Nicholas regularly registered top scores among his classmates up to grade 11.

He was awarded distinctions in English, social studies, principles of business and information technology. He also got credits in office administration, integrated science and history and received a pass in accounts.

The inner-city youth, who aims to rise from the slums, said he will be moving on to sixth form and later pursue a career in law.

Nicholas, who rose to head boy at Denham Town during the last school year, thanked his family and teachers for their full support.

"I couldn't have done it without my family as despite the financial challenges, they always provided me with the money to go to school.

"My teachers have also done well by giving me free lessons and spending quality time with me," he added.