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Britney Huie: from adversity to academic excellence

Sunday, July 01, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Top student for the National Child Month Committee's (NCMC) 2018 Youth Academic Achievement Awards, Britney Huie, says copping the award was not an easy feat.

The former Head Girl of Irwin High School in St James, who was presented with the award during a ceremony at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on Wednesday, told JIS News that her father, Randall Huie, who was ailing, succumbed during her preparations to sit 10 subjects in the 2017 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations.

“In order for me to overcome that and get good grades in those subjects, I had to tell myself that 'God will give me the strength'. I believed those words and somehow found the strength to carry on,” Britney says.

She pointed out that her mother, Jenny Taylor-Huie, also motivated her, even as she struggled to come to terms with the loss of her husband.

“With mom working through that time and still not having enough cash to send me to school, sometimes I would stand at the gate (at home) and pray for someone to just give me money to go to school. I would sometimes wonder if I would get my education… but I stuck to my faith and said 'I'm going to make it. No matter what, I am going to make it. This will not be the end. I will make it',” she reflected.

In August 2017, Britney, a native of St James, got her results which saw her gaining grade one in biology, chemistry, English language, mathematics, Principles of Accounts, Information Technology and Principles of Business, and grade two in geography, social studies and physics.

The 18-year-old subsequently enrolled at the Montego Bay Community College, where she is pursuing science subjects at the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) level, in her quest to become a pediatric neurosurgeon.

“I am intrigued with the brain. I have a drive to help people who feel outcast… people with disabilities… to feel accepted in society and to feel like they are whole again and even children with brain tumors… to help them to get back on track,” she said.

Once successful in her CAPE subjects, Britney intends to apply to the University of the West Indies, Mona, to pursue a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery degree to become a doctor, which will lay the foundation for her career goal in pediatric neurosurgery.

Britney told JIS News that she is motivated by the passage of Bible scripture which states: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, adding that her experiences in the aftermath of her father's passing have made her stronger.

The NCMC's Chairperson, Dr Pauline Mullings, said Britney is one of 16 students who have faced or are still facing challenges, who were awarded this year.

She told JIS News that since the initiative's inception five years ago, “we just wanted to keep going at it because we are finding young people who have challenging situations, but are doing well academically and are involved in community service.”

Mullings said key among the Committee's mission is seeking out and helping students in difficult situations, who are doing well academically.

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