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Shakiela Boothe shining amid pain

Published:Wednesday | June 22, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Shakiela Boothe

Shakiela Boothe is the top performing Grade Six Achievement Test student at her school, Free Town Primary. Come September, she will be among those eager students entering first form at The Queen's School.

Living miles away in the Cockpit District of Clarendon, Shakiela was asked why she chose a school so far away from home. The confident 11-year-old replied:

"I really admire Queen's. People expected me to go to Glenmuir and I wanted to show them that it doesn't depend on where you live."

When The Gleaner enquired about the source of her confidence, she swiftly replied, "I

have the best teachers in the world, why wouldn't I be confident?"

Lauding her teacher, Jacqueline Henry Hunter, Shakiela said the idea for her success strategy came from her.

"She taught us to turn our studying into games and based on this, my friends and I created this game 'Think Fast', where you have five seconds to answer any random question," she said.

Incidentally, all her friend were also placed at their school of choice.

Sharing other tips on how she earned her excellent grades, Shakiela said it's all about maintaining the right balance.

"I set limits and I know how to balance between work and play," said the 11-year-old who has her heart set on being a cardiologist.

For her, walking that path is as simple as ABC. "I want to be a cardiologist as I was always interested in the human body and the heart is the main organ, so I thought that would be perfect for me," she said.

Hunter expressed pride in her student and explained that Shakiela maintained grades throughout a turbulent time in her life.

"During the year, her mother was in and out of hospital. There were times when she got emotional in class as she was missing her mother so much," Hunter said.

It was even harder on her as two years ago, Shakiela lost her father to sickle cell and other complications.