Karen Sudu, Gleaner Writer
SPANISH TOWN, St Catherine:
SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD MATTHEW Blake of St Jago High School in Spanish Town, St Catherine, is the most outstanding candidate in the region for humanities in the 2012 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations.
Matthew is the only Jamaican awardee, as students from schools in Guyana dominated the regional awards for outstanding performances in the examinations.
"I am really glad! It's really cool," Matthew told The Gleaner.
He achieved grade one in 10 subjects, with all A profiles except one B profile in geography. The other subjects are Caribbean history, chemistry, English language, English literature, French, information technology, mathematics, social studies and Spanish.
The six-foot three-inch tall scholar who represents his institution in volleyball and chess said he strategised and prepared well for the exams. In fact, he said the award is a dream come true.
"When I finished my CSEC exams, I prayed for a CSEC award, because I read the views of the students who had gone to the award the previous year, and I thought it would be really nice if I got an award," the optimistic teen explained.
The meticulous student, whose parents, Byron and Christine, are financially challenged, told The Gleaner that he could not have achieved such a remarkable feat without assistance from the St Jago family and 'The Susan Show'.
"I really appreciate what they have done for me because that has helped me so much in getting to school, getting lunch, and so on, and I really want to thank them and will thank them in a bigger way in the future," the Sargeantville Primary school alumnus said.
Also, the support he gets from his teachers and parents has motivated him to strive for excellence.
St Jago proud
Michael Yee Sing, vice-principal, St Jago High School, told The Gleaner that his institution is proud of Matthew's achievement.
"It's really an awesome feeling. This young man is so humble; that makes it even more awesome. I think Matthew is gonna be one of those persons you see on 'Profile' (TVJ's programme) one day. He is exceptional and I know he is gonna shine," Yee Sing remarked.
Matthew, yet to decide his career goal, is currently preparing to sit history, geography, sociology, computer science and communication studies in the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) Unit One next year.
"I don't think I can settle for less than what I know I can do, that's the reason why I will be doing five subjects in CAPE. I think that all that I've gotten is because of God and He will help me to achieve more," Matthew, a Christian, explained.
He will travel to Anguilla to accept his award at a ceremony scheduled for Thursday, December 6.