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Community College top five eyeing Scholarships

Community College top  five eyeing Scholarships


Although the Divison of Arts, Sciences and General Studies of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC) this year recorded a decrease in the overall pass rate over last year’s figures, the administration is still congratulating its top performers for emerging out of their stressful Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and GCE A’ Level exams as the cream of the crop.{{more}}

SEARCHLIGHT managed to track down five of the institution’s top performers, who are likely to be put forward as recipients of the highly coveted National Scholarships. They are Kisha Sutherland, Aljay Massiah, Veronique Walker, Zeon Billy and Rohan Daniel.

Kisha Sutherland gained passes in Law – grade A; Economics – grade B; Business Studies – grade B, and Communication Studies – grade 1. The 18-year-old was particularly excited about her Law grade because she said she had had a tough time convincing the Dean of the Division, Rosa Vanloo, that she was suitably qualified to take the subject based on her CSEC accomplishments.

A steadfast member of the Thusian Institute for Religious Liberty, Kisha expressed deep thanks to Anesia Baptiste, one of the institute’s directors. She related that Baptiste had gone beyond the call of duty to help her through her 2-year tenure at the SVGCC. Kisha was also thankful for the Hard Area Scholarship that she received from the National Commercial Bank.

Daughter of Sharon Sutherland and Glenford Nanton, Kisha intends to attend the University of the West Indies (UWI) to pursue a degree in Law. With a keen interest in human rights, she hopes to specialize in Constitutional Law.

Eighteen-year-old Aljay Massiah has done his parents, Anthony and Jacqueline Massiah, proud by following in his brother’s footsteps by attaining top grades. His brother, Marcus Massiah, was a 2003 National Scholar. Aljay admitted that it was because of his brother’s urging that he signed up for four subjects.

Aljay successfully sat examinations in Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics and the mandatory Communication Studies. He achieved two grade B’s; two grade 1’s and a grade 2, respectively. Past President of the SVGCC Speech and Debating Society, Aljay related his deep gratitude to Phillip Jackson, who taught him at the St Vincent Grammar School, and exposed him and others to the importance of technology-related subjects.

Aljay has already secured a place at the University of Southampton to commence a degree in Electronic Engineering. He already has his sights set on doing a master’s degree in Nanotechnology.

Veronique Walker, daughter of Elizabeth and Verrol Walker, received grade B for Chemistry and Biology, grade 1 for Math, and grade 2 for Communication Studies. She plans to take a year off before attending the St. George’s University to study Medicine, and was pleasantly surprised at her Chemistry grade, as she has always found the subject to be a challenge.

The 19-year-old is an avid reader and plays the steel pan and keyboard. She had special thanks for her Chemistry teacher Nigel Scott, who gave her a lot of encouragement to stick with the subject.

Eighteen-year-old Zeon Billy is another top performer with an island scholar in the family. His sister Ranella Billy was a national scholar in 2003. Zeon gained grade As in Accounts and Business Studies, grade C for Economics, and grade 3s for Sociology and Communication Studies.

Son of Marilyn Joseph, Zeon also intends to take a year off before pursuing a degree in Accounting and Finance at UWI – intending to pursue a career in Financial Analysis. In his free time he can often be found hanging out with friends or at home listening to music of all genres.

Rohan Daniel, close friend of Zeon Billy, also has his eyes set on a year off before attending UWI. Although he is not quite certain what degree he wishes to pursue, Rohan is determined to forge a career within the financial sector.

The 18-year-old gained passes in Accounts – grade B; Business Studies – grade B; Economics – grade B and Communication Studies – grade 2. Now that he is on vacation, Rohan, son of Clifton and Elizabeth Daniel, has a lot of free time to indulge in his interests – listening to dancehall music, relaxing with friends and playing video games.

Speaking to these students, it was apparent that they had mostly employed the same study techniques, which included individual and group revision, doing past papers and studying from the syllabus. Despite this all, several of them confessed that nothing can prepare one for the anxiety often experienced while sitting the actual exam. “It doesn’t matter how much you prepare for it!” Aljay pointed out.

Aljay also advised next year’s students to be dedicated to the subjects they have chosen. He believes that one has to have a passion for the subject in order to excel at it. Veronique agreed with this and also added that students need to balance their studies with social activities – something they all agreed. “You need to find time for other stuff… at some point your brain is going to have enough!”

Dean of the Division, Rosa Vanloo, expressed that the administration was somewhat disappointed with the decrease in overall GCE A’ level passes – dropping from 77.6 per cent in 2008 to 76.1 per cent this year. “It was a different batch of students… this year they had a more laid back attitude.” She was, however, mindful to point out that she wasn’t laying the blame solely at their feet. There were a number of other external factors such as fewer subjects being offered at A’ Level and a decrease in registered candidates.

This year’s GCE A’ Level results saw a commendable increase in passes in Accounts, Law, Psychology and Sociology – although Sociology only had one registered candidate. The pass rate for Art & Design remained the same, but the other subjects all recorded significant decreases. In 2008, there were 22 grade A’s attained whilst this year, there were only 7.