‘Mom Would Have Been Proud’
As Shanique Sommerville walked up to collect her scholarship award for outstanding performance in the 2017 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations, her first thoughts were of her late mother.
Cheva Newton died seven years ago, when Shanique was just 12 years old.
The 19-year-old, who is in Upper Six at the Manning’s School in Westmoreland, says she is driven by thoughts of what would have made her mother proud.
She noted that since her mother’s passing, she has been determined to excel academically and not fall within the statistics of youth who are unattached and unskilled.
“I believe what I am doing now and my major achievements so far, would have made my mother proud. When I was crowned Miss Manning’s (2017), I knew she would have been proud,” Shanique added.
She was speaking to JIS News at the Board of Supervision Outreach and Welfare Committee’s awards ceremony, held recently at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge, St. Andrew, where she was named the top CSEC scholarship recipient.
She received distinctions in Spanish, Geography, Mathematics, English Language, English Literature, Principles of Business, Information Technology, Human and Social Biology, along with a grade two in Chemistry.
The young woman, who hails from Peggy Barry district in Grange Hill, Westmoreland, says she is elated by the award, which will cover her fees for the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).
Shanique has been receiving support from the Board of Supervision since her mother’s passing. “I am very happy. It’s an awesome feeling to be here,” she gushed.
“At one point, I didn’t know where I would get the resources to pay for the fees, and then when I heard that they were being covered, it was like a burden being lifted off me. I basically had more time to focus on what I should be focused on – schoolwork – and not worried about where the funds will come from,” she said.
Shanique is no stranger to academic achievement, and tells JIS News that she has made the headmaster’s honour roll every year at Manning’s.
“I have been at the top in my year group on numerous occasions. I’ve been working hard. I’m a very determined young lady and I go for what I want, and I want to become successful; and this is the path I believe I should take. I was also awarded as one of the top CSEC recipients at my school,” she noted.
Shanique expressed gratitude to her grandmother, Dawn Warren, noting that she was a tower of support while she was preparing for her CSEC examinations.
“At first, it was very hard. I normally have migraines, so that began to act up, and I also had training (in the evenings), because I am the captain for the track team. I would wake up like 3:00 a.m. to study and my grandma would make my breakfast, and I would have to get ready by 6:00 a.m. and leave out by 7:00 a.m.,” she recalled.
As it relates to her career goals, Shanique told JIS News that she wants to become an educator or lawyer.
“I want to become a lecturer or a professor. I’ve always had a passion for teaching from I was in primary school, and I would practise on my veranda. But I am also thinking about law. Right now, I’m in the process of applying to the University of the West Indies and I have stopped, because I am at the part of which faculty to choose, either law or humanities. I think I am going to choose law,” Shanique said.
A 400-metre runner, who has competed at the Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships, Shanique has been offered an athletic scholarship for the University of Technology (UTech).
Shanique said, “my daily motivation is life. Life is a gift, and you just have to enjoy it. Take one step at a time and just enjoy it. Live life”.
The Board of Supervision is a statutory body operating under the portfolio of the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development.
It was established under the Poor Relief Act to supervise and monitor the delivery of the poor-relief services performed by the municipal authorities.
The main functions of the Board of Supervision are characterised as supervisory, advisory, regulatory, auditory, training, appellate, inquiry, rules formulation (for Poor Relief Administration), and sites and plan approval for infirmary buildings.