Tue | Jan 18, 2022

Knox scholar silences doubters by acing CSEC exams

Published:Friday | November 26, 2021 | 8:26 AMOlivia Brown/Gleaner Writer
Trishelle Gooden
Trishelle Gooden

Knox College’s 2021 valedictorian, Trishelle Gooden, is geared towards making a difference in the country’s health sector. With a knack for advocacy, the 17-year-old has combined both her passions – medicine and law – and is now focused on becoming a leading medical lawyer in the country.

“I have a passion for standing up for those who have been wronged, especially in the healthcare system,” she told The Gleaner.

Trishelle has 10 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) subjects with 10 grade one passes. Her subjects attained are: English language, English literature, mathematics, social studies, history, religious education, Spanish, principles of business, human and social biology and office administration.

“There were many doubters who thought that it was insane to do 10 subjects, especially in a pandemic. I’m proud to say that I have showed all the doubters why they are wrong. Ten grade ones mean that anything is possible no matter what your circumstances may be,” she told The Gleaner.

That success, however, was no easy feat for Trishelle, who shared that Internet connectivity issues often hurdled her studies and access to virtual classes.

“It was certainly a hard year, especially in a pandemic. There were numerous challenges which I was forced to overcome. It was not easy as we are in a pandemic and not being face to face at school meant that I had to do a lot of learning on my own, and not to mention the unreliable Wi-Fi and the lack of devices. It was extremely hard to stay focused while the entire world was in shambles,” she said.


Citing months of hard work, the young scholar said she is not surprised by her success, adding that her family, teachers and friends are an integral part of her achievement.

“I was certainly expecting something great as I had put out the work throughout the entire year. It was an arduous journey. However, I managed to pull through because I was persistent and motivated by my family, teachers and peers. The teachers at Knox College are the best. They worked tirelessly to aid students to do their utmost best,” she said.

She lauded her parents as her number one supporters who offered motivating words whenever she felt despondent. Her mother, Faith Gooden, said Trishelle has always been committed to her studies, and has been a high achiever since basic school.

“I am beyond proud and filled with joy in having her as my daughter. She spends quality time on her studies and will get perturbed if obstacles come her way in submitting her task on time. She is willing to work and believes she should be an active member in her community and school, as it is not only the academics but also her involvement that makes her a well-rounded individual,” the proud mother said.

Now in lower sixth form, Trishelle serves as a prefect and is the president of the Sign Language and Journalism clubs. She is also a member of the Knox Media and Knox Key clubs, the Red Cross Society, the Knox Quiz Club and Emerging Global Leaders Club.

Trishelle said she hopes to be a beacon of hope and motivation to her peers.

“I hope others will see me as a motivation and proof that no matter what your circumstances may be, anything is possible. The key to success is nothing but hard work, consistency and determination. I also want persons to understand and know that no matter what people say about you, anything can be done,” Trishelle said.