THREE deserving Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) students are the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) School Savers Programme 2011 scholarship recipients. They are Leshanel Williams, Justin Edwards and Samuel Medley.
All three were recently acclaimed JN Scholars at a scholarship reception held at the Society's Half-Way Tree Branch, in St Andrew. This is the 10th year of the School Savers GSAT Scholarship that rewards students who have shown commitment to scholastic excellence and thrift, as a result of their participation in the JN school-based savings programme.
The students, who represent the counties of Cornwall, Middlesex and Surrey, received passing grades of 85 per cent and over, respectively, in their GSAT examinations; and were regular savers in the JN School Savers programme, which operates in approximately 892 schools across the island.
Leshanel Williams, the lone female of the three scholars, is the recipient from Cornwall and was successful in securing a place at St Elizabeth Technical High School. While a student at the Burnt Savannah Primary she served as Head Girl, and was an active member of the school's 4-H club.
As part of GSAT preparation, Leshanel participated in a Math and English competition held at her school and placed second in both. She pointed out that, her guidance counsellor at the Burnt Savannah Primary School gave her some advice that proved invaluable when she sat the exams in March.
"She said that we should take deep breaths so that we can concentrate more on what we are doing," this was in addition "to studying, reading all the course materials and just giving it my all," she said.
Now a student at the St Elizabeth Technical High School, Leshanel is looking forward to taking one course most of all. "We are going to do agriculture that we didn't do in primary school and I am looking forward to know more about that because it is all about the environment," she stated.
Justin Edwards, formerly of the Ascot Primary School, in Greater Portmore, St Catherine is the scholarship recipient for Middlesex; and has made his transition to Campion College.
Jacqueline Edwards, his mother, acknowledged that Justin was a natural saver who started with the School Savers programme in Grade One. An avid cricket and football player, Justin distinguished himself as a high achiever throughout his time in primary school, which his mother credits to a self-motivated approach to all he undertakes.
"He does a lot of the work on his own. When I would ask him can I help with homework he would say homework is done; therefore, I check it to make sure that it is correct," Edwards reflected.
Justin, who aspires to be a lawyer and a bank owner in the future, was involved in several extra-curricular activities including drama, choir and the sign language club during his primary school years and hopes to continue similar activities at Campion College.
"I was also in the environment club; and at one point, the debating club," he revealed adding that, "I am thinking of joining the debating club and I have also taken up tennis."
Campion College has also welcomed another School Savers scholarship winner, Samuel Medley, who was named the School Savers recipient from Surrey.
Samuel, who previously attended the Dunrobin Primary school in Kingston, started saving at an early age. And according to his father Patrick Medley, his academic excellence has been consistent throughout his time at primary school.
"He has been excellent; his grades have always been good. He has been in the top level of his class at primary school; and he has scored nothing less than 95 per cent in any exam or test in the last three or four years," Medley recounted, proudly.
Samuel, who plans to take up football, track and field and cricket as extra-curricular activities at Campion; and his ambition, is to become a teacher.
"I would like to be a high school teacher, because I want to help students to achieve and earn scholarships," he said.
Of note, all three students have already independently completed reading literature textbooks that will be part of their curriculum for this school year, a similarity that speaks to their shared, high academic standards.