Top CSEC performer aiming for Island Scholarship
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August 24, 2007

Top CSEC performer aiming for Island Scholarship

“My next goal is to be an Island Scholar. That’s my goal!”

With a beaming smile as she basked in her achievement as this country’s top Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) performer for 2007, 16-year-old Colette Sharlene Charles of the Girls’ High School (GHS), who hails from Mt.Pleasant, Argyle, is already setting her sights on her next mission.{{more}} She is eagerly anticipating entering the Community College in September.

Colette, the daughter of gynaecologist Dr Elsworth Charles, and Dale Charles, a Home Economics teacher at the St. Joseph’s Convent Kingstown, scored the best results in the exams copping 12 passes, 11 of them being grade ones (with nine distinctions) and one grade two.

The lass received distinctions in Biology, English A, English B, Electronic Document Preparation Management, French, Geography, Information Technology, Mathematics, Physics, Social Studies and Spanish. She narrowly missed distinctions in Biology and Geography, and scored a grade two in Chemistry.

She told SEARCHLIGHT last Tuesday evening that Physics was the only subject area she found to be challenging. She was therefore elated when she realized she had scored a grade one, and even better, a distinction in that subject.

Recounting the emotions that swept over her when she received her results from one of the secretaries at her school, Colette could not help but burst into laughter and smiles all over again.

“This was my reaction!” she said gleefully.

She however, acknowledged that her success did not come without hard work, the help of God, her immediate and extended family, teachers and friends.

“If you want to achieve your goals you should be ready and willing to work hard for it,” she said. Colette retracing her steps to success, recalled a tedious two years of preparation which involved doing past papers, attending extra classes, researching various subject areas on the Internet and endless sleepless nights. She believes that her sacrifice has paid off.

And while to some extent, she hopes to walk in her father’s footsteps as a medical practitioner, at the moment the 2007 GHS valedictorian and former Head Girl has not decided on an area of specialization.

Colette is not all about losing herself in her schoolbooks. She disclosed that she enjoys listening to Reggae and R&B music, writing poetry, reading for pleasure and surfing the Internet.

Collette’s mum Dale, sharing her daughter’s achievement said: “I am proud of her. She worked hard and she deserves to be successful.”

The elated mother noted that the parental support that Colette received went a long way in contributing to her success. She recalled times during their daughter’s preparation when she appeared stressed and she and her husband had to come up with innovative ways to calm her.

Dale believes that parents can help their children to achieve their goals by meeting their needs, encouraging them to pray and providing parental guidance. On the other hand she believes students can achieve their goals by choosing their friends wisely and being consistent in their work.

Her wishes for her daughter are that “she will continue to study hard, remain focused and excel at her A-Levels”.

Dr. Charles said he too is happy that his daughter did well and expects the achievement will boost her as well as give her the energy to achieve greater things.

He said over the years he never used a strap on any of his two daughters; instead he has gone the route of interacting with them, guiding them, and allowing them a measure of independence as he imparts certain philosophies to them.

“I never demanded a study pattern. She was allowed to study in her time,” said Dr.Charles, explaining that Colette became more responsible as a result of this.

“I was not sitting expecting her to be number one, but I expected her to do well,” said Dr.Charles, explaining that he is not pressuring Colette to pursue a career a medicine.

He remarked that he has seen too many unhappy professionals.

He is advising parents to seek professional guidance for their children, especially in subject areas where they are not competent.

This he explained can make a difference in the student’s life as lots of changes may have been made in those subject areas since the parents last did them.

Dr.Charles expressed thanks to all Colette’s teachers for their contribution to her development.