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Story Highlights

  • 29 students were recognised at a luncheon put on by the Urban Development Corporation (UDC).
  • The students were also presented with gift vouchers of $10,000 each.
  • Parental support and guidance play a critical role in a child’s study habits.

Hard work and dedication are only two of the words that fittingly describe the achievements of Shavelle Shaw, Sylvester Campbell and Shadene Smith in the 2013 Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).

The three formed part of a cohort of 29 who, along with their parents, were recognised at a luncheon put on by the Urban Development Corporation (UDC).

The students, whose parents are employed to the UDC, were also presented with gift vouchers of $10,000 each.

In an interview with JIS News, Shavelle, who is attending Wolmer’s Trust High School for Girls, pledges to continue doing her best as part of efforts to continue making her parents proud.

“On getting my GSAT results, I was very happy and proud, because I wanted to attend that school (Wolmer’s),” she says.

The aspiring accountant notes that her study habits include “burning the midnight oil”, as well as working with past papers on the various subjects.

She informs that her strategy to maintain a great average during high school is to not waste time, “revise my work daily, so I can pass my exams.”

The past student of Jessie Ripoll Primary School encourages other students to remain focused in their studies and do their best to attain the results they hope to achieve in their respective subjects.

Beaming with pride, Shavelle’s mother, Mrs. Sonia Shaw, says apart from ensuring that her daughter gets the necessary help, she will also provide incentives to ensure that she remains in the top brass of her class.

“I try to support her as much as possible. For example, I have this little thing at home where I will give her $1,000 for every 100 per cent she gets in Mathematics. So, Shavelle would work very hard to get her 100 per cent and actually she scored 100 per cent in GSAT, which I’m very excited about too,” she tells JIS News.

Mrs. Shaw notes that parental support and guidance play a critical role in a child’s study habits and will only redound to the benefit of the child.

“I sit up with her, and I try to explain what she doesn’t understand. Whenever there are extra lessons I try to find the money…to ensure that she is part of the programme that will take her to this height,” she says.

Expressing gratitude to the Urban Development Corporation for honouring the students, Mrs. Shaw says this signals the organisation’s commitment to nation building.

“I am very proud to know that I am associated with a company which looks out for persons who really work hard,” she notes.

Meanwhile, 13 year-old Sylvester Campbell, another recipient, tells JIS News that he plans on continuing his study habits.

Recalling his preparation for the GSAT, the Maud McLeod High School student tells JIS News: “I ensured that I studied every evening I went home from school.”

Sylvester’s mother, Ms. Pauline Watson, says even though her son does not live with her, she ensures that he has the necessary materials to do his work. She also commends the UDC for honouring the students.

Another honouree, Shadene Smith, who now attends the Ocho Rios High School, says she felt “good” about being recognised by the Urban Development Corporation.

Providing study tips for other children who may be falling behind in their school work, she encourages them to seek the relevant assistance, revise their work and cut back on play time.

Explaining her desire to become a teacher, she tells JIS News that, “I see how my teachers spend time with us for us to learn,” underscoring that this is one of the attributes she will bring to her students.

Shadene’s father, Owen, says he is proud of his daughter’s achievements thus far. “I ensured that she studied more and played less and I feel very proud that she was selected as one of the GSAT awardees for the UDC,” he tells JIS News.

Reiterating the corporation’s commitment to the nation’s future generation, General Manager at the UDC, Desmond Malcolm, encouraged the recipients to continue striving for success.

“As we honour you, we recognise in you the bright shining possibilities for tomorrow. You are here because already you have demonstrated your capacity for achieving the very best. We encourage you to continue in this fashion as the current world we live in demands only the best,” he told the students at the luncheon.

For her part, Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, who was on hand to present some of the recipients with their prizes, also praised them for their accomplishments, urging them to continue on this path.

The other recipients were: Raheem Linton, Abbygail Davis, Tajah Warren, Sharion Thompson, Zoya Ross, Anna-Kay Huie, Dhavin Wilson, Chadwic Stewart, Stephanie Clarke, Britney Sawyer, Zyddon Wilson, Kaaliyah James, Tesara Gilmore, Jermel Perth,  Joshua Hunter, Janiel Beadle, Nakiem Miller, Mwamba Steadman, Michael Scott, Alyssa Venson, Kevesha Howell, Joyanna Stewart, Stephan Bartley, Myca McDonald, Malik Beckford, and Lauren-Ashley Golding.

The programme, which commenced in 2007, seeks to salute the achievements of children and parents of the UDC, its subsidiaries and related companies for the hard work leading up to GSAT examinations.

The UDC was created by the Government of Jamaica in 1968, through a Special Act of Parliament, to ensure that planned and orderly development takes place when and where it is needed in Jamaica within the framework of national priorities.