My granny is my hero | Portland teen whose parents died attains 9 CXC subjects – all Grade Ones

Lera Taylor said she cried tears of joy when she reflected on how her grandson, Rahjai Thomas, overcame various obstacles to attain a whopping nine CSEC subjects, administered by the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC).

“Mi cry,” she told The Beacon, adding that she has been raising Rahjai since he was three months old when his mother Jasmine Taylor-Thomas died of natural cause.

“He is not rude; him don’t idle on the road,” the grandmother further said while wishing the very best for Rahjai, whose father Fitzroy Thomas passed away about two weeks before the 2019 CSEC results were released.

Rahjai, who hails from the Anchovy land settlement in Port Antonio, Portland, attained nine CSEC subjects at Port Antonio High School. He got the highest grade possible (Grade One) in all of them.

Those subjects are:

  • Mathematics – Grade One
  • Biology – Grade One
  • Chemistry – Grade One
  • English A – Grade One
  • Human and Social Biology – Grade One
  • Information Technology – Grade One
  • Principles of Accounts – Grade One
  • Principles of Business – Grade One
  • Social Studies – Grade One

“Those results were not what I expected even though I worked very hard,” said the elated 17-year-old, who wants to become an anesthesiologist – a doctor who helps to prevent the pain and distress patients would otherwise experience during surgery.

Although his school offers a limited number of CSEC subjects to each student, Rahjai, a true fighter for a cause, could not be constrained.

“My school only offers six CSEC subjects per student, so I had to do both shifts as my school is on the shift system,” he explained. “I have bags under my eyes to show the last time I slept perfectly before CSEC.”

Rahjai said he is profoundly grateful to God, to his teachers, the good friends he has had, and the members of his family – especially his grandmother.

“I live with my hero – my grandmother, Lera Taylor,” the young scholar told The Beacon, noting: “My grandmother was the one who took me from three months old to where I am now.”

Rahjai, a past-student of Port Antonio Primary School in Portland, is now trying to enroll in a Kingston sixth form programme.

He will not be daunted by his circumstances; he is trying to turn the grief surrounding the death of his parents into inspiration.

“The deaths are very melancholic, but they just make me work 10 times harder,” Rahjai said while encouraging other young people in similar situation to ‘pray and trust God through it all’.

By Horace Mills, Journalist


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