Leighann Dacres-Jones' eyes gleamed like the sunshine on a bright sunny day as she made her way from the podium, she was beyond delighted to be the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) GSAT scholarship recipient for the parish of Manchester.
The 12-year-old was among 33 students who were formally recognised as JN Scholars by JNBS yesterday at the scholarship reception. The event took place at the JN Half-Way Tree Branch.
Each of the awardees received five-year scholarships to cover their fees throughout their high school tenure.
"I am very grateful to JN and I am thankful for my parents, as they were able to put me through school. It was long journey, but thankfully I made it and I'm ready for the next stage of my life," she told The Gleaner.
"I went to school every day for three months in order to prepare for GSAT, and spent numerous extra hours after school. Sometimes I came home after school at 7 p.m. It was very hard, but it all paid off," Dacres-Jones added.
Marilyn Welch, mother of a scholarship recipient, also said she was grateful, as the scholarship is of great help financially.
"The scholarship award is a thoughtful gesture by Jamaica National and I am thankful for it. Without it, I would have had to source funding elsewhere. I was able to use the scholarship funds for his school fee," Welch said.