BY DENISE DENNIS Career & Education staff reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
ANA Katrina Donaldson, 16, has made a habit of excelling in her studies — a feat for which her proud parents accord her high praise.
She managed to not only attain distinctions in all nine Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) subjects she sat earlier this year, but also received regional and national awards for her performance.
The Campion College sixth form student placed first in the Caribbean in mathematics and ninth in principles of accounts. She placed first in Jamaica in mathematics, second in chemistry and third in principles of accounts, as well as additional mathematics. She placed first in physics at her school and received grade ones in English literature, English language, biology, and Spanish.
When she learnt how well she had done, Ana was delighted.
"I was happy, you know [although] a little shocked. It was like, 'Well okay, I did that. Yayyyy!' And then I knew I had to be thankful to all the people who helped to make it happen," she said, expressing gratitude to her parents and teachers.
But her CSEC passes were not the beginning. Since her first year at Campion, Ana has been awarded the Campion Magis Award for top academic performance annually.
Her parents, though delighted at her more recent achievements, were, therefore, not surprised.
"We were overjoyed because we have high expectations of her, as she has proven herself through the years. [But] she is consistent and she is very dedicated so I wouldn't say it was very surprising. Hearing the other results, though, in the Caribbean, that was an added blessing," said her mother Karen Donaldson.
"We were elated, to say the least. She has always been a high achiever. She is in the top two in her class every year. She is very modest, but she is hard-working. I don't know how she does it all," added her father Kevin.
What makes Ana's academic achievement all the more commendable is that she is involved in a variety of extra-curricular activities, including swimming and playing the piano. She is also a member of Campion's steel pan orchestra, is involved in a ministry outreach programme which visits and corresponds with the elderly in old-age homes, and is secretary of her school's environmental club.
"I do a lot of things, but I guess it's 'do-able'. I don't procrastinate. I like to get homework and other activities done as soon as I get them," Ana said.
Despite the busy workload, Ana said she is simply unable to work from a timetable.
"It doesn't work for me as I get frustrated if I don't stick to it and I very rarely will. So I prefer to take everything as it comes, but I still plan and prioritise," she said.
For the time being, Ana is uncertain of what she will study at university, but has an interest in actuarial science.
Her advice to other youth is to remain focused and understand their individual study technique in order to realise success.
"You have to look within yourself because everyone is different. For everyone, [the advice is], don't procrastinate. You have to just strike a balance, I guess. You can't give up what you love because you will go mad. You have to find what is best for you," she said.