Aspiring nurse rises above financial woe
Despite the economic plight facing her parents, who constantly struggle to make ends meet, 12-year-old Alexia Cooper, of Dutch Hill, Trelawny, has nonetheless emerged as a shining star in the 2014 Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), emerging with an average of 92.2 per cent.
"Alexia did very well and we were very pleased for her," said Shirley Frater, a senior teacher at Albert Town Primary and Infant School, from which Alexia will be making her transition to the much-revered Westwood High School in September.
"She got 92 for mathematics, 87 for science, 95 for social studies, 85 for English language, and 11 out of 12 for communication task."
With her mother, Dorraine Warren, unemployed until recently and her father, Fitzroy Cooper, without a steady source of income, the family, who reside in the heart of the south Trelawny 'yam country', has struggled to ensure that Alexia attends school regularly and applied herself to her GSAT preparations.
"Her mother only recently got a job at Iberostar in Montego Bay and her daddy sells CDs for an income," Yvonne Barnett, a close cousin of the family, told The Gleaner. "Things are not always easy, but the parents are doing their best for Alexia."
To her credit, Alexia has been doing all she can to reward her parents for their investment in her through her achievements at school. In addition to sparkling academically, she is also heavily involved in other aspects of school life.
"Alexia is a fun-loving child, but she is well organised," her cousin told The Gleaner. "She is on the quiz team at school and she is also an avid netballer ... . She was involved in the Spelling Bee competition for the school."
With the additional expense of moving into high school facing them, Alexia's parents will be required to dig deep to meet the financial challenge, which could include daily travels of some 20 miles from Dutch Hill (near Albert Town) to Stewart Town, where Westwood is located.
"I think her mother got the job at Iberostar at just the right time ... . However, I am sure that things will not be easy in these tough economic times," noted the cousin.
"I am sure she would deeply appreciate whatever help she can get to lighten the burden."
Alexia plans to duplicate her primary-school success at high school. According to her, one day she hopes to heal the sick.
"I would like to become a nurse," said Alexia. " I believe it is a good thing to care for others, especially the sick."