Last update: 07-Dec-2013 1:29 am
Saturday, December 07, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Record haul an inspiration
“Success is not a secret, it is hard work and learning from failures.” These were the words of advice Naparima Girls’ High School scholarship winner Shalini Maharaj shared with her former schoolmates yesterday, as she joined 20 of the school’s 40 scholarship winners at a special assembly at the San Fernando school’s auditorium. While Naps received the most scholarships overall with four open and 36 additional, St Augustine Girls’ High School topped the nation with 18 open as well as 19 additional.
Maharaj, addressing the students, attributed her words of wisdom to her father, who she said was instrumental in motivating her to succeed, as well as, her mother. She stressed the importance of setting goals and effective time management. “What you put in is what you get out. Boys, Facebook, BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) will always be there—you need to focus on school,” she advised.
Many of the other scholarship winners who addressed the packed auditorium encouraged the students to believe in themselves no matter what and keep their faith in God. “God does not limit you, so do not limit yourself,” said Sarah Balkaran, who broke down in tears after she dedicated her scholarship to her grandfather, who died last year.
Sherry Rambadan, who won an additional scholarship (science), reminded her peers about the importance of friendship and urged them to work together. “You have to help each other out,” she said. “Look at my friends, they are up here (on stage) with me. When you reach the top you do not want to be alone. You want to be there with people you love and trust.”
Former Naps head girl Aneel Baintold students to “never give up.” She said the worst thing a student can do is “throw a pity party and cry and say, ‘I can’t do this, this is too hard.’ “If you are going to do it, go all the way and do it. Do not do it half-heartedly,” she urged.
After the assembly, the scholarship winners were mobbed by excited schoolmates who warmly embraced them and congratulated them on their success.
Naps principal Carolyn Gosine said the feeling of winning 40 scholarships was “indescribable.” She said it was the most scholarships the school had ever received. Gosine attributed the school’s success to the hard work of the students themselves.
“The girls worked really hard and the parents were very supportive. I think the teachers worked really hard with them and I think in our school all members of staff played a role in some way. The way we have everything here it is integrated. I believe that the success of our students is reflective of the togetherness and the team spirit that we have here,” she said. Gosine added that she hopes next year the school can improve their results and she knows the scholarship winners will continue to excel.
“I know they will continue to aim for excellence,” she said. Barrackpore Senior Comprehensive (Barrackpore West) principal Jermaine Gray could not contain her excitement after she learned students Devanan Ramdath and Saeed Khan had got scholarships. “We at Barrackpore West are extremely elated,” Gray said. “We expected it because the boys work extremely hard. We encouraged them and we are so happy that we got the scholarships. Our last scholarship was two years ago.”
She described Ramdath and Khan as “bright, intelligent young men.” However, she stressed that they were not only involved in academics. “They were not only into their books, they took part in everything we had to offer at the school. They were all-round students. They received their just rewards,” she said.
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