Beacon of the day | St. Catherine Boy Makes Progress Despite Pressure Of Being ‘Different’

Despite the discrimination and financial challenges that could have caused him to cave in, Marcel Kerr constantly finds strength to continue his journey towards greatness.

He is a recent graduate of Linstead Primary and Junior High School in St. Catherine, and he will attend St. Catherine High in September.

Marcel was not placed at his first choice of secondary school, but he is proud to be enrolled at St. Catherine High, which he notes is the former school of the island’s current Prime Minister.

He performed commendably in the Primary Exit Profile (PEP), which is used to place students in secondary schools across the island. Notably, Marcel attained Mastery of Literacy and Numeracy, and finished primary school as the top boy in academics.

He intends to become a pilot – and he knows he must first fly high academically.

“Persons can expect from me the right attitude for learning and excellent performance academically and otherwise,” Marcel declared.

His mother, Amoy Ormsby, is impressed with her child’s tenacity.

She explained that Marcel sometimes struggles to fathom the difference in his appearance and the social reaction to that difference.

He was born an albino – persons with congenital absence of pigment in the skin and hair (which are white) and the eyes (which are usually pink).

His mother explained: “My child is an albino and his health is great. He only has an issue with the sun and he can’t see far away at school. He has to sit close to the board.”

The mother also stated that her son sometimes faces discrimination because he is an albino.

She added: “He faces discrimination. He sometimes cries and asks me why he is different and if I think he’s ugly, but I always encourage him that he is a very special child, hence the reason he was created differently.

“I always use the persons that are bleaching as example, explaining to him that they are bleaching to get a color like his while he is naturally made with his colour. Persons – especially the ones that bleach, go crazy about his complexion on the road. That also helps him to boost his self-esteem,” the mother further told The Beacon.

She noted that discrimination was never a major issue at Linstead Primary School, adding that she has never received any report about her son being bullied at the institution.

The mother added that, as a single parent, she ‘struggles very hard’ to ensure that her son stays in school and participates in extra-curricular.

The child’s maternal grandmother, Rosetta Ormsby, also plays a crucial role in his life. He actually lives with her in Ewarton district.

The mother, in the meantime, said her son is partly motivated by his struggles.

“Marcel understands the financial struggles I along with the help of my mother had to go through to ensure he stays in school. Because of this, he is always determined to do well so that, in the future, he can assist with his younger siblings’ education. I am expecting excellent performance from him,” the mother further said.


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