Trelawny youth, raised by single mom, tops region in CXC Tourism

A young scholar from a single-parent household in Clark’s Town, Trelawny, intends to one day make it big in the tourism industry.

He already is setting a powerful foundation, reflected in the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) naming him the top regional performer this year in CAPE Tourism.

Regarding his latest accomplishment, Darnell Gray told The Beacon: “I am elated that I was able to achieve this great milestone.”

The sixth form student at York Castle High School in St Ann, said he did not expect a regional top placement this year, because he did not get even a national one last year.

He, last year, attained 10 CSEC subjects, also administered by CXC. In nine of those subjects, Darnell scored the highest grade possible – Grade One.

Darnell is elated that the regional placement this time round is in Tourism, considering that he wants to pursue a career in tourism and hospitality management.

“Being one of the leading sectors in Jamaica, I sincerely believe that tourism is the way forward and that, as country, we should capitalize on something great,” the youngster reasoned. “With sufficient investment and proper management, tourism will have a greater economic impact on Jamaica,” he added.

Darnell told The Beacon that he discovered his interest in the area while studying the topic of tourism in Social Studies last year.

He, in the meantime, said his exceptional performance regionally is dedicated to his ‘amazing’ Tourism teacher Marsha Howard, and to his family – especially his single-mother Margaret James and his sisters Daneal Wallace and Dionne Hines.

“They have been there through the difficult times helping me to persevere in times of doubts,” Darnell said.

Asked if he grew up around his father who is still alive, the youngster replied: “No. Only my mother, sisters and Jehovah God.”


Darnell, a prefect at York Castle High, is captain of the school’s senior male table tennis team, and secretary of the Environmental Club.

He is a past student of First Hill Primary School in Jackson Town, as well as Happy Venture Day Care and Basic School – both in Trelawny.


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