Principal at Jonathan Grant High School, Dr O’Neil Ankle, said he has awarded a full scholarship to special student Orville Mckellop, who endured enormous medical setbacks to obtain 10 CSEC subjects this year from the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC).
Orville attained 4 Grade Ones and 6 Grade Twos in his CXC subjects (General) despite struggling with a genetic condition known as osteogenesis imperfecta or brittle bone disease.
Dr Ankle, in explaining the reason for the scholarship, told The Beacon: “Orville epitomizes the whole idea of overcoming obstacles and hurdles, having gone through surgeries, stopping from school for a year, and was able to bounce back. Many persons would have crumbled.
“You hardly see Orville without a smile on his face; there is never a dull moment despite all that he has gone through over the five years between Grade Seven and Grade 11. My hope is that persons would take a leaf from his book of struggle and overcoming obstacles. Orville tells me that you can achieve anything you want to achieve in this life,” Dr Ankle further said.
He is also impressed with the love and respect that 18-year-old Orville engenders among his peers at Jonathan Grant High, located in Spanish Town, St Catherine.
“When I looked at how students would move Orville from upstairs [the school building] on their backs like a little baby to the bottom floor, and move around with him in the wheelchair and while he was on crutch, it really tells me that all is not lost in this country; there are still persons who care.
“Nobody could have wanted to disrespect Orville. If you did that, every student in the school would have turned on you. That’s how much he is loved. I am so proud of him and today he is in sixth form,” Dr Ankle added.
He said the school family is willing to continue assisting Orville even after he leaves the institution.
“I gave Orville a full scholarship to sixth form – a full ride to sixth form because of his tenacity and his ability to overcome his hurdles… If he chooses to go to Upper Six, it is another full ride. In whatever way as a school we can help him to move on to tertiary school, we are going to help him. This boy is really someone to say to Jamaica, anything in this life you want to achieve, you can,” the principal further declared.
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