'I feel like a champion'
Young K'Alee James Robb exceeds peers in PEP; heads to Campion College
K'Alee James Robb will be heading to Campion College in September.

AS the first student from Tarrant Primary School to be placed at Campion College in 18 years after completing the national exams, K'Alee James Robb is basking in pride.

In the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) series of exams, the 11-year-old scored 387.1 with high proficiency in mathematics, science, social studies and language arts.

She also copped the top PEP performing student award and Principal's Top Girl Award at her school.

"I feel like a champion. I am excited because I worked very hard to get my first choice," said James Robb who has high hopes of becoming an engineer or architect.

"I have learnt that hard work pays off and I am looking forward to the new environment and making new friends," she told the Jamaica Observer.

Nobody was prouder than James Robb's mother, Mary-Ann James.

She explained that her daughter exceeded expectations of those who doubted that she would do well in her academics.

"I expected it because it was her first choice. She comes first every year in her class so I was expecting nothing less from her. I really admire her strength. She is such a fighter. She is like an underdog, she is often underestimated but she always rises up on top and she is very determined," she said.

The period of preparation for PEP exams, Mary-Ann said, was nothing short of trials, but she said the experience was worth it.

"It was a lot of hard work. It involved a lot of sacrifices. I had to create a balance between her taking part in clubs as well as studying. We had to make timetables, I had to be transporting her to and from extra lessons by bus. Despite the challenges we did overcome and we had to put God in the middle but I am extremely glad that we pulled through," she said.

Principal of Tarrant Primary School Hadajah Freebourne Raffington was just as elated.

She said James Robb's excellence will serve as encouragement for the remaining students.

"It will be motivating other students and other children in surrounding communities with similar backgrounds. For us at Tarrant Primary it would send a message to our parents that K'Alee, who is from an inner-city community [Greenwich Town, Kingston 13], has managed to gain that pass," she said.

"I am expecting other great passes next year from students as they are motivated and the parents are beaming with pride. Even though she's not their child, she is getting all the support from parents and staff," she said.

In the meantime, James Robb heaped praises at those who helped her to excel in her exams.

"It was a little challenging but I did my best. I want to thank my mother, principal and teachers Mr Dave Reid, Mrs Latoya Mattis-Forbes and Mr O'Neil Morrison," she said.

Brittny Hutchinson

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