The nation’s top scholar at the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), and recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for 2021 is not necessarily the biggest fan of school.
But her success is rooted in the philosophy that if you must do something, you should do it well and be satisfied that you have tried your best.
Adiah Holder is among seven national scholars who will receive five-year scholarships valued at over $500,000.
Having earned the top award, she will also receive a cash award of $20,000.
Calm, relief, happiness and gratitude are all emotions that the Spring Village resident experienced when she heard she had been bestowed the prestigious award.
In addition to having her classes interrupted due to COVID-19, Adiah and her family remained in Spring Village when La Soufriere erupted in April 2021.
But this did not deter the teenager from doing her best.
“I actually enjoyed online school. Contrary to popular opinion, I did get more done. I was more relaxed. I especially enjoyed Math class online. I was glad for the physical school in year one. I was glad to be with my friends and I missed them during online school but other than that, I really enjoyed it,” she told SEARCHLIGHT.
The 19-year-old added that she was not scared during the eruption but rather excited to see what would happen.
Academic success has closely followed Holder throughout her schooling.
She was among the first cohort of students to sit the Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA) in 2014, when she placed fourth for girls and ninth overall.
After spending five years at the Girls High School, she was again highlighted for taking one of the three top performing spots in the 2019 CSEC examinations with 13 Grade ones and a grade two.
At the CAPE level, she studied Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science and Pure Mathematics and also returned exceptional grades.
Her proud mom, Suzette Hoyte-Holder told SEARCHLIGHT that her role is to provide support and encouragement to her daughter.
“I am just thankful…throughout her years growing up, she has worked consistently. I never had to pressure her. She would come home and do her work willingly and surprisingly, people may not believe that she does not like school,” she said.
Adiah’s mother said her daughter believes that “school has a lot of rules and dampers creativity”.
“…she also thinks that sometimes it can be torture so for her, her motto is to avoid double torture. Go to school, and do well. Because to get up early on mornings and go to school abide by rules only to come out and not do well, it’s double torture,” she explained.
And this is in line with the words of encouragement that Adiah has for students sitting exams in the future.
“It may sound cliché but I really encourage everyone to do their best. To be satisfied that you have done your best, that you have tried your hardest and you are satisfied with what you have done. I encourage people to put God first; trust in his will and his might,” the scholar said.
“I am a big believer in teamwork and I would not have done as well as I did if it wasn’t for my classmates and my teachers, my parents, my family, those who I met, and encouragement from so many others.”
Adiah told SEARCHLIGHT that she is awaiting God’s guidance for the specific career path she will follow.
However, she has already sent out applications to several universities both regionally and internationally to pursue a BSc in both Computer Science and Mathematics.