With his mother, a registered nurse, on the front line of the coronavirus (COVID-19) fight, Davion Reid was sent to stay with his father while he prepared for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations.
The 16-year-old Campion Collage student, who lives with his mother full-time, tells JIS News that the adjustment was not as bad as he anticipated, as in hindsight, the preparation for his exams turned out well.
Davion passed all nine subjects he sat, with distinctions in Mathematics, English A, English B, Information Technology, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Technical Drawing, with a grade three in Additional Mathematics.
He tells JIS News that he matured over the period, as he took greater responsibility for his studies without the constant prodding from his teachers or parents.
“My dad is an educator, so he helped me to get in the habit of being more structured and getting my studies done,” he says.
“Mommy encourages me to make full use of the time I have and she did just that in my preparation for CSEC. She drills that in my head daily by telling me never to waste a day by idling or taking continuous and extended breaks,” he notes.
Davion, who tells JIS News that he learns better in the physical school setting, says that the transition to online learning, due to the closure of school plants in March, was challenging.
“With no in-person interaction and learning because of the pandemic restrictions, I felt a little lost. I was also anticipating going to workshops and doing study marathons for some of my subjects, but that didn’t happen.
“So, my friends and I held our own study sessions via the Zoom platform where we practised past papers and focused on particularly difficult topics. I even found myself scheduling my time better and being more structured and purposeful in my approach to studying,” he points out.
Davion’s mother, Simone Jones, tells JIS News that upon receiving her son’s grades she was ecstatic.
“I am beyond proud of my son for pulling through, putting the work in and reaping his rewards. It is only upwards and outwards from here,” she says.
Speaking about her decision to have Davion stay with his father, Ms. Jones says she felt that she had a duty to contribute to the country’s fight against COVID-19, even though it meant that she would be away from her son for extended periods.
“When I told Davion that I would be working on the front-lines for a while, he was sad but showed some level of understanding. I explained to him that parents often make decisions that their children may not completely understand and that it is for his own good because I work to make him happy and ensure his success,” Ms. Jones tells JIS News.
“I also wanted to be part of the army of good [professionals] helping patients and the healthcare system to get over this crisis. I knew it would be difficult and I accepted that. Besides, being able to understand a new disease and pandemic is a great learning experience for a nurse, as another pandemic may not happen again in my lifetime,” she notes.
Meanwhile, Davion aspires to become a Computer Engineer or a Mechanical Engineer. He tells JIS News that he wants to make an impact on the way in which children and adults operate in the virtual space.
He says that his experience during COVID-19 has taught him that everyone needs greater online access and opportunity to work efficiently.
His mother fully supports his goals.
“In life, if we do something that we love and are passionate about, then we will enjoy our work. So that is what I want for him. I don’t want him to go in a field just for the money but more so for the love of it. That way, he will give of his best at all times,” Ms. Jones says.
“He is passionate about positively impacting people by further simplifying virtual work and access and I couldn’t be more proud of him,” she adds.
Davion has moved on to sixth form at Campion College, where he is studying Physics, Communications Studies, Pure Mathematics and Computer Science at the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) level.