Thu | Dec 7, 2023

Government Scholarship recipient speaks success into being

Published:Friday | August 4, 2023 | 12:08 AMAinsworth Morris/Staff Reporter
Aly-Anna Holness
Aly-Anna Holness
Aly-Anna Holness (second left) and her parents Oliver Holness and Sheriefa Campbell Holness (right), and sister Alyssa.
Aly-Anna Holness (second left) and her parents Oliver Holness and Sheriefa Campbell Holness (right), and sister Alyssa.

When Aly-Anna Holness, National Reading Competition Champion for 2022, started the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) process three years ago, she resolved in her mind that she would become a 2023 Government Scholarship recipient.

And with that vision in mind, the then student of Willowdene Prepararory and High School in Spanish Town worked towards the goal. She is now happy that she not only achieved it, but also gained a placement at her favourite secondary school, Campion College.

“I’m very elated about it. I’m elated because it has been a dream of mine since I started the PEP exams,” Aly-Anna told The Gleaner on Sunday.

She said a similar vision came to her before she became the National Reading Competition Champion for 2022.

“Probably about when I started grade five, it came to my mind that one day I would want to be able to even have the idea or the things necessary to have a title that would say, ‘National Reading Competition Champion for the nine to 11 category 2022’,” Aly-Anna said.

“I worked hard for that goal and I was able to achieve it and that makes me happy,” she said.

The Seventh-day Adventist Christian credits God, her grades five and six teachers and those who taught her extra lessons for her success, and said her goals were not easily achieved.

“I also studied sometimes. I would stay up late in the night studying and early in the morning I would wake up to study,” Aly-Anna told The Gleaner.

“I would also try to memorise things and I read through every book that I had. One of my hobbies is reading, so I read my books throughout the duration of grade six to be able to properly memorise the content, so that I would do the best of my exam,” she explained.

Aly-Anna is already looking forward to going to Campion College and joining their Schools Challenge Quiz team.

“I like to participate in a challenge which is one of the reasons why I also entered the reading competition,” she said.

She hopes to become a chef and open her own chain of restaurants in the future.

Her parents, Sheriefa Campbell Holness and Oliver Holness, are both happy that she owned her success and spoke it into being.

“Last year she said, ‘Daddy/Mommy, I can just see the headlines ‘National Reading Champion gets Government Scholarship’ and that really happened,” said Oliver, who is the principal of Excelsior Primary and Infant School.

Both parents said that their daughter knew the syllabus for PEP and knew exactly what needed to be done.

During the interview with The Gleaner, Sheriefa, who is also a teacher, said, “I am overjoyed, to be honest. I have watched her and worked with her. She’s a very hard worker and so I’m extremely happy for her.”