Glee, as Alpha school fire victim cops CAPE subjects

Glee, as Alpha school fire victim cops CAPE subjects

Senior staff reporter

Sunday, September 27, 2020

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MAY 27, 2020 was a day when 18-year-old Ashieka Townsend lost all hope.

It was the day she watched her Rum Lane, central Kingston house being destroyed by fire, taking with it the materials she needed to help her prepare for her Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) which were pending, having been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I lost everything. The exams were set for July and so at the time I was preparing for the exams, doing Internal Assessments (IA), going through past papers, and touching up on my weak areas. When the fire came I was affected very badly. I became very hopeless. When you lose all your materials for CAPE, an exam that is no walkover, I just thought I was finished, I am done,” Townsend said.

Subsequently, going into the examinations, Townsend, who attended Convent of Mercy Academy (Alpha), told the Jamaica Observer that she was not confident and did not expect to do well, though her alma mater supported her.

“Nothing was going right at the time. I was motivated by people from my school, the alumni [but] I was still not confident,” Townsend remarked.

But, behind every dark cloud there is a silver lining and to Townsend's surprise, despite losing her home, her prized possessions, study material and glimmer of hope weeks before her external examinations, she passed all four Unit Two CAPE subjects she sat.

Townsend bagged a two in sociology, a three in Caribbean history, three in literatures in English and a three in Caribbean studies.

“Before I got the results I thought I failed everything. When I saw the results and the passes, I was elated. I wish I would've done better but I am still satisfied with my passes in spite of all that has happened. I was super excited. I didn't know how to act. When I told my mother she started screaming, as she also had doubts,” Townsend told the Sunday Observer.

Townsend, who is now pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism at Caribbean School of Media and Communication (CARIMAC), The University of the West Indies, is the recipient of a $50,000 education grant from the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission and a full scholarship from Carreras Limited. She is also working at the law firm Daly, Thwaites & Company Ltd.

She said her celebration was short as she is now focused on adjusting to online classes and doing her best in the new phase of her life.

“Initially I wanted to do law but because of the tuition I chose journalism, which was much cheaper. Right now I am hungry for success and hungry to achieve greatness, hungry to be the best. That's what keeps me going, alongside my mother, the Alpha family and my family members who rallied around me and supported me a lot more than I expected,” Townsend said.

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