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Med student takes it one goal at a time

Sunday, March 11, 2018

As far as academic goals go, Lisanne Hylton has had two: winning a GSAT Government scholarship and the Annual Jamaica Scholarship.

As of February 13, when the Ministry of Education named her among the seven Annual Jamaica Scholars for 2018, she has accomplished them both.

“I am very happy about it,” she told the Jamaica Observer last week.

“It's a good confidence-booster. I really wasn't sure I would get it, because there are other strong candidates for it, but I knew I had a chance because I had already gotten my 2016 [Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE)] results. So I knew there was a possibility that I could get it, but I also knew that I'd have to work hard in the 2017 exams to secure it,” she said.

Hylton, 18, is a first-year medical science student at The University of the West Indies, Mona. She previously won a Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) government scholarship based on her performance in the high school qualifying exam.

In 2017, her Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) grades for accounting unit 2 and biology unit 1 were the highest in Jamaica and third and first in the Caribbean respectively.

The year before, she had the highest grades in biology unit 2 and accounting unit 1 in Jamaica.

Hylton's CSEC grades were just as impressive. She scored nine grades one, five of which featured among the top 10 best grades in the country that year.

The Annual Jamaica scholarship covers tuition ($625,000 per year in Hylton's case), maintenance of $60,000 and a book allowance of $15,000.

“It's a significant academic achievement,” the young woman told Career & Education. “I'm very goal oriented and that was a milestone that I wanted to achieve.

“Ever since I was a child I wanted to win the GSAT government scholarship. That was my prep school goal. This was the next step for me; my high school goal,” Hylton said.

“Going through high school, I would always see the scholarship recipients and in some cases, I knew them personally. They've just been big role models for me,” she shared.

Asked what her next big goal was, the soft-spoken doctor in training said she has not yet settled her sights, but added that it could be the Rhodes scholarship.

Hylton said her study techniques play a big role in her success.

“I don't cram; I don't swat. I prefer to have a deeper understanding of the material. I study really early in the morning. So I'll be up by 4:00 am and study before school, as opposed to late in the night after school. That would give me about two hours every morning.

“If you're consistently studying it will equate to those hours of cramming just a couple weeks before the exam. This was my mother's advice,” she said, referencing former research scientist and current university lecturer Dr Karla Hylton.

Dr Hylton is also Career & Education columnist.


— Falon Folkes