‘The journey has just begun’

Public Service Minister tells NGSA top performers

The top 10 National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) performers from Mocha Arcadia and Barnwell North were on Saturday morning rewarded for their efforts during an awards ceremony at the Mocha Arcadia Community Centre.

The awards ceremony was organised and conducted by the Mocha Women on Track community development group.

Speaking at the ceremony, Public Service Minister, Sonia Parag, urged students never to stop the learning process, as this is far from the end of their journey to success.

“We know that when we have worked hard for a few months and dedicated ourselves, we tend to down the tools and just lay there for the next few months, but the journey has just begun…. It becomes more competitive and more challenging. So, you have to now rise to that occasion once more,” she said.

Public Service Minister, Sonia Parag addressing awardees on Saturday

The minister urged students not to let their circumstances define their identities, or the things that they can achieve, irrespective of any challenge they may encounter.

“We all have that in life no matter where we’re going and what we’re trying to achieve, but you have made it this far.”

The minister also commended the two communities for their role in the success of the students.

“In your community, you have your dedicated teachers, you have your parents, your neighbours and all those well-wishers in your community who push you, who challenge you, and even when you think they’re punishing you, they are challenging you to do your best,” she remarked.

Public Service Minister, Sonia Parag with the top ten NGSA performers

Minister Parag told the students to value their education, as it would take them to many places in life, and charged them to work hard for their success.

She said there is no secret or shortcut to success.  As a result, she encouraged them to work hard to achieve their academic goals.

“[Your education] is something you can hold as a valuable possession that no one can take from you. And by your commitment and dedication to pushing yourself, to doing the best that you can do and pushing yourself, it says that you can be even better. It says that you can rise above any challenge and make it.”

The awardee were urged to continue reading and not to succumb to peer pressure.

“Show them you can do well…. We are very proud of you,” she said.

Public Service Minister, Sonia Parag with members of the Mocha Women on Track community development group

Top performer, Deshaun Garrrick, who scored 509 marks at NGSA, will be attending Queen’s College, and Annaldo LaRose, who scored 495 marks, will attending St. Joseph’s High.

Celina Beckles, who scored 488 marks, along with Shonia Penniston, who scored 482, Lennox Thornhill who scored 475, Senika Crandon who scored 465, and Rhema Cooper, who scored 467 marks, will all be attending the New Central High School.

Jashoun Ward, however, who scored 455 marks, alongside Hosenia Moses, who scored 434 and Felicity Isaacs, who scored 440, will attend Charlestown Secondary School. Also present at the ceremony were the Director of Public Affairs within the Office of the Prime Minister, Michael Gordon, former Senior Education Officer, Walter Alexander, among other special invitees and members of the Mocha Women on Track group.