Alshequa Levy’s performance in the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) belies the emotional turmoil she faced during the exams in March.
Her mother Sandra Levy, who provided significant help, was admitted to hospital in the final episode of her battle with cancer.
She passed away on May 6, not knowing that her 11-year-old daughter Alshequa attained an 87.2 percent average, and will attend Holy Childhood High School in September.
“I feel good about my results. I studied hard and also prayed to God,” said Alshequa, who wants to become a marine biologist.
“My mother used to tell me to study hard and she also guided me a lot.”
Alshequa also received academic guidance from her GSAT teacher Althea Edwards and other teachers at Rousseau Primary in Kingston 13.
The results have lightened up Alshequa’s Maxfield Avenue household, which has been a bit gloomy since the passing of Mrs Levy.
Chancy Hall, who is Alshequa’s paternal grandmother, said the GSAT exams have proven her granddaughter’s mettle.
“She took the exam during the illness of her mom. Her mother didn’t have the strength to keep on motivating her. To me, she is a very strong girl. She pulled through those exams and that in itself is amazing,” Hall asserted.
The grandmother also vowed to fulfill a promise she made to the late Mrs Levy. She promised to ensure that Alshequa and her younger sister live their fullest potential.
“I have to do the best I can with the children,” Hall told Jamaica Beacon, adding that Mrs Levy was much more than a daughter-in-law to her.
“She was like a daughter to me,” Hall said. “I stood by her throughout all her illness.”
Hall’s son, Mark Levy, said he will continue to be a great father although he is still devastated by the death of his wife.
“I am still devastated. I mean, we had about 23 years of relationship and almost 18 years of marriage. She took ill suddenly in 2016. It’s not easy to lose someone you love; I have a lot of memories,” he told Jamaica Beacon.
“My wife was a great mother; I don’t think they are made like that anymore.”
Mr Levy, who is grateful that his mother and other relatives have pitched in, admitted that it will be tough for him to offer enough academic guidance because he operates a taxi and spends much of his time in the streets.
“I will have to attend school meetings. I usually attend them anyways. I will also see to it that the children get proper nutrition and proper guidance,” he said, adding that he too is proud of Alshequa’s GSAT performance.
“I am feeling overwhelmed by the grades. But I expected it. Alshequa is a consistent person who only missed the Honour Roll once,” he said.
While he showed Jamaica Beacon a plethora of certificates and awards his daughter received during her time at Rousseau Primary, Mr Levy noted: “I want to be around to guide my daughter; I want to help her remain focused enough to fulfill all her dreams.”
By Horace Mills