St Hugh’s 7th graders rise to the occasion

St Hugh’s 7th graders rise to the occasion

Girls secure over $20,000 to assist neonates at UHWI

Saturday, June 04, 2016

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A group of Grade seven students of popular all-girl institution St Hugh’s High have sprung into action to do what they can to assist in an area of Jamaica’s health care.

The group, comprising girls aged 12 and 13 of the St Andrew-based institution, were so shocked by the news of a high number of deaths of premature babies at neonatal facilities in hospitals, that they decided to actively help to build a better Jamaica for their future children.

Finding that there were other like-minded girls in their class, Chantal Ximines, Brianna Mattis, Chelsea Townsend and Bo Hookim formed themselves into the philanthropic group Fidelitas Nation, based on their school motto Fidelitas, which means loyalty. The girls decided to hold themselves to high standards so that they can be role models for younger girls to follow.

Mattis, who aspires to be a writer, actress and director, had a special word for girls, saying: "Nobody is perfect, but young ladies should be valued."

The goals of Fidelitas Nation are to decrease bullying, raise money for causes, encourage children to become gentlemen and ladies, and to let children believe that their dreams are never too big.

On Friday, the girls presented a cheque of just over $20,000 to the head of paediatrics at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), Professor Minerva Thame, to go towards the welfare of children at that hospital. In receiving the donation, Professor Thame assured the girls that it would be used for the benefit of the children at UHWI, and that she was impressed by the girls and predicted that great things would come from them.

The school’s administration lauded the girls: "We are pleased that some of our youngest students would like to contribute to the health and welfare of the children of Jamaica in this way, and have used their initiative to raise these funds. This is the kind of behaviour we want to encourage among our young people," the school said in a statement.

The girls said that their inspiration started when Ximines spoke of the mentors who had already touched her life in many positive ways. At the school, they were further inspired by a talk by a past student, Dr Suzanne Turpin Mair. In addition, the St Hugh’s Past Students Association has monthly ‘Big Sister’ mentoring sessions each month with the Grade seven year group.

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