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Story Highlights

  • Twenty-six students who attend non-traditional high schools, including the Salvation Army School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Lister Mair-Gilby Senior School for the Deaf, have been recognized for their outstanding academic achievements.
  • The awards were presented at the second staging of the National Child Month Committee’s (NCMC) Youth Academic Achievement Award (YAAA) ceremony, held on June 26, at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in Kingston.
  • Top recipient, Kemeisha Ellis, a student at the Denbigh Hill School in Clarendon, attained 10 passes at CSEC with distinction.

Twenty-six students who attend non-traditional high schools, including the Salvation Army School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Lister Mair-Gilby Senior School for the Deaf, have been recognized for their outstanding academic achievements.

The awards were presented at the second staging of the National Child Month Committee’s (NCMC) Youth Academic Achievement Award (YAAA) ceremony, held on June 26, at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in Kingston.

Top recipient, Kemeisha Ellis, a student at the Denbigh Hill School in Clarendon, attained 10 passes at CSEC with distinction.

Chief Executive Officer of the Child Development Agency (CDA), Rosalee Gage Grey, who brought greeting at the ceremony, said the academic achievements of  children must be seen as the foundation upon which Jamaica’s economic prosperity will be built.

She congratulated the students for their outstanding achievementS, and urged them not to relent in their drive for excellence.

Responding on behalf of the other recipients, Miss Ellis said that greatness lies within everyone, but if no one else sees it, that is okay. “Just make sure that you see your greatness and believe in yourself,” she added.

“Education, the great equalizer has given us the ability to build ourselves stronger than ever. With our exceptional academic achievement, we have dispelled the negative notion that non-traditional high schools are for under-achievers,” Miss Ellis said.

Other recipients were : Delon Smith from the Salvation Army School for the Blind and the Visual Impaired; Fabian Jackson,  Lister Mair Gilby High School; Micashae Stewart, Little London High School; Kemar Maragh, Petersfield High; Omar Williams, Rhodes Hall High; Amoya Miller, Balaclava High; Sobrena Williams, Maggotty High; Melissa Fearon, Spot Valley High; Chrisa McBean, St. James High; Kemareio Cooper, Muschett High; and Shantania Wilson, Holland High.

Also awarded were:  Georgett Spence, Kemps Hill High; Shauna-Kay Campbell, Porus High; Victoria Richards, Bellefield High; Kimona Campbell, Aabuthnott Gallimore High; Kemoi McMurray, McGrath High; Abigail Green, Bridgeport High; Christine Salmon, Brimmer Vale High; Diandra Nugent, Kingston High; Keneisha Wiggan, Port Antonio High; Kerena Ormsby, Buff Bay High; Errol Cole, Penwood High; Roxene Tomlinson, Mona High; Clinton Prendergast, Robert Lightbourne High, and Moneice Masters, Seaforth High.

Dr. Adrian Coore, representing the Managing Director of the National Baking Company, Mr. Butch Hendrickson, sponsor of the YAAA, encouraged the recipients to stay committed and rise above all challenges, as they continue to strive to realize their dreams.

He said that National is unwavering in its support to the transformation of the education landscape in Jamaica and has contributed over $200 million to the Crayon’s Count Initiative and $27 million in bursaries to the University of Technology.

To qualify for the YAAA, students must attend a non-traditional high school, attain five or more subjects at CSEC level and overcome great odds to achieve these outstanding results.  They should also be involved in community service, in keeping with the spirit of volunteerism.