Vendor sings praise – her daughter is top girl at school in St. Ann

High achiever Swahelah Brown. Inset is her mother Natalia White

A single mother of nine children, Natalia White sells goods in her home parish of St. Ann to help eke out a living for her family.

She beams with pride especially when her children reap success.

Swahelah Brown, 12, is the child of the moment after she was rewarded a place at one of the island’s most revered educational institutions – Campion College in Kingston.

Brown got her dream school based on her impressive performance in the Primary Exit Profile (PEP).

She is the top performing female in PEP this year at St. Ann’s Bay Primary School.

A breakdown of the PEP components shows that Brown attained Mastery of Literacy and Numeracy, and scored a whopping 100 percent on the Ability Test that assesses general analytical skills. She also performed at the highest level (Highly Proficient) in Mathematics and Science, and Proficient in Social Studies and Language Arts.

Brown told The Beacon: “I am a student who always love to be on top and, with my mother as a higgler, I want to be the one to uplift her life.”

She added that persons can expect her to continue aiming for the stars.

Meanwhile, Grade Six teacher Francine Frazer is not surprised that Brown performed well in PEP, despite sudden disruption to the school system caused by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“She is a very determined and confident student,” the teacher declared.

Brown’s mother, White, who is from Windsor Heights in St. Ann, is also not surprised.

“I am super proud and happy for my daughter’s achievement, but not surprised, because she is always on top,” she told The Beacon.

She added that her daughter’s dream is to become a medical doctor.

“She always promises to do great and to be a doctor because her brother suffers from sickle cell disease and – according to her – she wants to be able to care for him, and to help me from being a higgler because she hates to see me on the roadside,” the mother explained.

She undoubtedly wants the very best for all her children – the youngest of whom is two years old.

One of the other children is in Grade Nine at Westwood High School, two in Grade Five at St. Ann’s Bay Primary, and one at Bethel Basic School. Two live overseas.

The mother, who stated that it is challenging to support her children financially, expressed gratitude for the help she has been receiving especially from her mom, Sharon Staples. She is Staples’ only child.

By Horace Mills, Journalist


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