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Determined to Succeed For Mom

Published:Tuesday | July 14, 2015 | 12:00 AMKeisha Hill
Audley Knight (left), Victoria Mutual Building Society's assistant vice-president of Sales & Service - Western Region; Lesa Robinson (second left), manager, Processing Department; Kirk Jones (third left), scholarship recipient; Tenneice Brown (centre), scholarship recipient; Raheem McKain (third right); Vivienne Bayley-Hay, vice-president - Marketing and Corporate Affairs (second right) and Ainsley Whyte (right), manager for the Victoria Mutual Building Society branch in New Kingstonare photographed at last year's VMBS Scholarship awards presentation ceremony.

Tenneice Brown, one of the recipients of the VMBS Future Plan 'Head Start' Scholarship, is determined to realise her dream to make her mom Marcia Lewis proud.

Brown is from a single-parent family and her daily sustenance was often from the meagre income from her mother's baking and selling business. Undaunted, Brown set her sights on becoming an actuary.

She applied for the 2014 Future Plan 'Head Start' Scholarship and, though the competition was strong, she was successful. At age 18, Brown had 10 CXC subjects with nine distinctions and one credit. She also gained five distinctions in the natural sciences; chemistry, physics, mathematics, biology and communication studies at sixth form.

In her final year, she earned three distinctions in chemistry, physics and mathematics, and two credits in biology and Caribbean studies. She is aiming to repeat those excellent results when she completes her actuarial science degree at the University of the West Indies.

She attributes her success and character traits to the sacrifices she has seen her mother make in her attempt to make life better for her. Brown became teary-eyed when she recalled the times her mother miraculously found the ingredients to bake and sell products so she could attend school.

Mother's strength

Brown is aware of and grateful for the diligence and resilience of her mother, who did everything to ensure that she had a fair shot at life. The VMBS scholar reasons that a good education is the vehicle to success and will make her able to provide financially for herself and her mother, a mother who continues to be her sole source of strength and encouragement when school becomes difficult.

Asked why she applied for the scholarship, she admits that she wanted to ease the burden on her mother. "The VMBS scholarship provides more than the tuition, and, in my situation, I am especially grateful that some of the funds can go towards the purchase of a laptop and other school expenses," she said.

Brown is on her way to realising her dream and thanks the Victoria Mutual family for having such a life-changing initiative. She advises young people, "if you want a head start for your career, apply for a VMBS scholarship. I did. "