STUDENT of Paul Bogle High School and resident of Duhaney Pen in St Thomas, Keadra Turner will never allow her surroundings or tradition to dictate her achievements.
She demonstrated this in the recent sitting of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams where she gained grade one in human and social biology, two in information technology, and three in English language, all at fourth form.
What makes her achievement even more remarkable is that the 17-year-old had never done biology or information technology prior to transferring from Seaforth High a year ago, a switch which she explained was necessitated by the recognition that her educational needs were not being met.
Turner said she was never overly concerned that Paul Bogle was not considered among the top high schools as she knew it would be up to her to make the best of what she was being taught.
"I just felt that I could do it because I believe in myself," she noted.
"I came to Saturday classes and sometimes stayed over on the afternoon shift because I was very determined," she told the Jamaica Observer North East.
Turner said she initially had some doubt in her ability to pass the three exams at grade 10 but said her mother's support and encouragement made a difference.
"What drives me is my desire to make my parents and myself proud," Turner said, adding that her mother has been very proud of her accomplishments so far.
Turner's biology teacher Velta Wilson expressed satisfaction at her student's success and her grade one pass, having never done the subject before.
"If a child is settled and has self motivation it does not have to take two years to prepare them for the exam," she said. "Keadra is always consistent; sometimes she is the only grade 10 student here on a Saturday and so I had to allow her to sit in the extra lesson class for grade eleven students."
Wilson added: "She is motivated and follows instructions and I have all the confidence in her that she will do just as well in the other CSEC subjects she is going to be taking."
The teacher of 27 years said it is students like Turner who continue to motivate her in the classroom.
Wilson underscored the point made by Turner earlier, that it is not the school that students attend which determine whether or not they excel, but their personal drive to do so.
"We have students coming to this school who get eight subjects, so it is not the school but the willingness of the students to learn," she said, adding that there are many teachers at the institution who have first and second degrees.
Having tasted success in those exams, Turner believes she will perform even better next year when she sits maths, straight biology, social studies, office administration, and food and nutrition.
"I am very confident that I will do well," she said with a smile.
According to Turner, she is still between two minds on a career choice: nursing or joining the police force.
A member of the student council body, Turner said her advice to fellow students is to work hard.
"I want to encourage them to study hard and believe in yourself and not be bothered by the school you attend but what you can make of yourself," she said.
Turner loves to read and enjoys surfing the Internet, watching television and listening to music.