It is not often that one meets an 11-year-old who wants to become a farmer.
But for Maurice Davis, who is a recent graduate of Windward Road Primary and Junior High School, farming is not only a career goal but a passion that he hopes to further develop at Mona High School, which he will attend come September.
Maurice, who was a member of the 4-H club at his primary school, tells JIS News that, through farming, he hopes to contribute to creating a sustainable future for Jamaica.
“Being part of the 4-H club was a good experience, as I learned about good practices in farming and also about different fruits and vegetables. I love to eat and I love different foods. My neighbour is a farmer who plants scallion, sweet potato, melon and much more. I like how he is able to feed his family and I really want to do that so that I can increase people’s access to fruits and vegetables,” he says.
Maurice plans to join the 4-H club at Mona High and continue to expand his knowledge and skills in agriculture.
The youngster was placed at Mona High based on the results of the Primary Exit Profile (PEP).
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), students were not able to sit all components of the PEP this year.
The decision was made to use the results of the 2018 Grade Four Literacy and Numeracy Test, the 2019 grade-five Performance Task and the PEP Ability Test in February to place students at high schools across the island.
Maurice admits that when he heard about the cancellation of the exams he was disappointed.
“My grades were always good but I knew that I could do better. I was hoping to sit the PEP exams to improve my grades and give myself a better chance at placement in one of the schools of my choice,” he says.
He tells JIS News that he had prepared hard for the exam, attending extra classes on weekdays and on the weekends. “All my time was about studying and practising for the exams. I put a lot of work in, so that is also why I was so disappointed,” he says.
He notes that while Mona High was not among his choices he will work hard at the school “to be the best that I can be”.
“I look forward to starting my new school. I am nervous but I also want to do well and improve my grades with each test that I take,” he says.
“When my high-school exams come around, I will always remember my goal to constantly do better and ensure that I am more successful than the last time,” Maurice says.
For her part, Maurice’s mother, Taneisha Davis, says that she is proud of her son and will continue to encourage him to do his best and reach for the stars.
As a mother of two boys, Mrs. Davis puts all her energy into motivating her children.
“I was constantly on him about studying. There were times when he didn’t want to go to his weekend classes, but I instilled in him that if he wants an easy life, he has to work hard and if he wants a difficult life, he has to work easy. I tell him all the time that being successful depends on him. You know, what you put in is what you get out,” she tells JIS News.
Mrs. Davis, who recently graduated from the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), shares that she tries to set a good example for her boys through dedication to her studies and her nine to five job while raising her family.
“Maurice used to see me get up early or stay up late just to get my schoolwork done. He witnessed the struggle and the achievements. At my graduation, he told me that I was his role model, and that was the plan all along. I want him to aspire to achieve and excel in his own goals for himself,” she says.
Maurice is encouraging all students, especially those who feel discouraged by not getting the results they wanted, to remain focused and work hard to get to where they want to be.