SHE did not believe she would do well in her external examinations but with prayer and faith Teana Fuller exceeded her expectations in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations last year.
Now, the 18-year-old is basking in success after passing all eight of her subjects, which allowed her to further her academic studies in sixth form at St Hugh's High School fro Girls.
Fuller earned a grade one in electrical and electronic engineering technology, English language, human and social biology, mathematics, principles of business, and Spanish, and a grade two in food, nutrition and health as well as in accounts.
For her accomplishments, she was one of 39 students who were awarded at the Child Protection and Family Agency's 11th annual Educational Achievement Awards Ceremony on Thursday.
"I knew that I was going to pass all of them but I wasn't motivated enough to believe. I didn't have the drive or the passion but when I saw my grades I was so excited," the top girl for the South East Region told Jamaica Observer's Career & Education.
Fuller, a former ward of the State who lived at Maxfield Park Children's Home and is now a part of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency's Transitional Living Programme, said she would often be "ashamed" of where she came from.
"I used to be at a point where I was ashamed of where I am from but I started to see that it's not where you come from, it's where you are going; and it's not about your past, it's about your future," said Fuller.
She noted that there were people at the home who helped with her personal and academic development.
"One person was Mr Walters. He was a wonderful person who encouraged me and he would often say, 'If you hang on to your past, you will stumble.' I just didn't care where I came from after a while and put my mind to what I wanted," she said.
"Even though I was in a dark place, I still had hope and I prayed a lot. Although I was at a place where I was not 100 per cent okay, I knew it was not going to be like that forever. I made up my mind up that, 'I can do this' â€” and I tell myself that every day," she related.
Fuller, who is now pursuing entrepreneurship, tourism, law and communication studies in the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination, is advising her peers to stay focused on their dreams.
"Anybody living in a home and struggling mentally and [who is] not at the place where they are okay, remember: 'It's not where you come from, it's where you are going. If you hang on to your past, you can stumble. And even if you don't believe in yourself, make sure you believe that you will make it one day. And, always have hope, always think positive, and make sure you pray,' " she said.
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