Prophecy fulfilled, dream accomplished
A teacher in kindergarten had predicted that Annalise Johnson would become the recipient of a Government scholarship after the educator saw how well the child bounced back.
It came after Annalise had missed an entire term of school due to a heart condition that required corrective surgery.
Annalise, a student of the Bright Beginnings Educational Centre in St Catherine, aced the recent sitting of the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) and achieved just a few marks short of a perfect score, topping her school and earning herself a scholarship from the Government.
Due to her exceptional performance in PEP, Annalise’s dream of going to Campion College in St Andrew turned to reality.
She is delighted and so are her parents.
Her ecstatic mother and father, Tracey-Ann and Michael Johnson, were grateful to God and the village — which includes relatives, friends and teachers — for helping them to raise their daughter thus far and set her on the right path, academically.
A happy Annalise shared that it was not easy overcoming the heart condition, which the Jamaica Observer learned caused her teachers to be nervous on many occasions, worried whether too much extra-curricular activity would affect her.
“I am overjoyed as well as grateful. My score was 354 out of 360. It was the top score from my school. Campion was my first choice, it was my dream. I wouldn’t say getting to this stage was easy. It was challenging but I was hopeful. When I was younger I had to skip a few classes and try to catch up. At a certain point it started to get easier with the medical issues but it still limited what I could do.
“I had classes every day except for Sundays. I did math online. I did extra classes and Saturday classes outside of regular school. I remember my friends would ask me if I could play a game or join a call, but I told them I had to study,” she shared, revealing also that she participated in many extra-curricular activities including the Math Olympiad, the Kangaroo Math Competition, Jamaica Cultural Development Corporation (JCDC) Speech Festival and JCDC dance competition.
“I also did track and field,” she added.
Annalise completed summer school at Campion and loved the experience so much that she cannot wait to fully immerse herself in the culture at the institution.
“Summer school at Campion was fun. I got to meet a lot of new people as well as experience the classes for the first time. The teachers were very interactive and really hands on. They have a points system and if you do well in a test, they would have winners. They would encourage you to try and get a prize, especially because it was a dream of mine, it was very, very nice. I also got to do swimming,” she shared.
Annalise’s mother, Tracey-Ann, lauded her for her resilience.
“Annalise missing school was very frightening for us because we didn’t know how long she would have to be out and we weren’t certain how she would be able to transition back into school after having missed so many classes. She never made the heart condition an issue for her. She has always been active, wanting to be a part of everything.
“After she did her surgery, from September to December she was out. We were told that she couldn’t lift anything, she couldn’t do anything that required exertion and she couldn’t take on much in terms of schoolwork. She pushed through that. I believed, even from that early stage she was self-motivated,” Tracey-Ann said.
“Even in terms of her resilience, in her PEP exams, she was sick and she still wanted to go to Saturday classes. She said, ‘Mommy, I have a dream and a goal, so despite how I am feeling I am going to push through it’. The kindergarten teacher was really of the view that she would be the recipient of a Government scholarship and we should just make sure that we invest in her. It is one thing to motivate your child and invest, but it takes a village to raise your child. When you have the support of family, teachers and friends, despite challenges, you are able to push through. The village has been there supporting her,” Tracy-Ann added, expressing gratitude to Anya-Kaye Headlam and the team at the Bright Beginnings Educational Centre.
Annalise’s father, Michael, was not surprised by his daughter’s exceptional performance in PEP.
“I am over the moon. I saw the commitment and the work she put in. I always reminded her to stay focused on the process and not the outcome. That was the recurring theme coming from me to her.
“Sometimes she is a little bit short of 100 per cent, but sometimes she gets it. When I saw her reach a stage where I would go to bed and she is still up, doing her work or for example, if we happen to come in late from a function and she has homework to deliver the next morning, what she would do is stay up and get the work done. From that stage it was imminent that she would do well,” the proud father said.
Annalise is not yet sure what career path she wants to pursue, while both parents believe she could very well become an attorney-at-law or a judge. Whatever the path she chooses, Michael and Tracey-Ann know that Annalise is destined for greatness.