At approximately 12:30 p.m. today, a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Soraya Sealy delightedly delivered the valedictory address at the Grantley Prescod Memorial Primary School graduation.
There was a standing ovation for her even before she started, and surely after eloquently giving her motivational speech that reminisced on her fellow graduands and life at the school over the years.
Those who know Soraya’s story and how she defeated the odds, would agree she was deserving of the duty given at the Hilton Barbados-held function.
Despite some domestic and financial challenges throughout her lifetime, the top student will be making her way to Harrison College come September, after receiving 94 in English, 85 in mathematics, and B in composition, rounding off her total at 237, in this year’s 11-Plus Examination.
“I feel well. I feel excellent,” Soraya told Barbados TODAY minutes after giving her speech.
The student, whom teachers described as a consistent hard worker, indicated that her preparation process for the examination was easy, though she admitted she had to apply some extra effort to mathematics.
“I like the school [Harrison College] because it is a good school, and it is close to home. I will go and work hard. I will do some sporting activities too,” said the student who is keen on beginning life at her new place of learning.
Her grandmother Mavernie Adams, moved to tears as her “focused” granddaughter read her speech, said she was not surprised with Soraya’s 11-Plus results because she always maintained a consistent report card. Adams said though Saraya’s mother Cynthia Franklyn was battling with a personal problem, she always ensured her child did her homework.
“She would always look over her work, and if she noticed it is not arranged properly, she would make her do it over,” said the grandmother, who also thanked the school’s community for its contribution to Saraya’s success.
In delivering her report, principal Marline Abrams said the school had performed well academically, and in sports and other extracurricular activities over the past year.
She urged the parents of the 46 graduates to continue playing that pivotal role in their children’s lives as they moved on to their respective secondary schools. She wished the graduates the best in their future endeavours.
Speaking on the theme One Goal, One Team, No Limits, featured speaker and former long-standing educator David Francis also urged the parents to maintain not only healthy relationships with their children, but build bonds too with the teachers at their new schools. Francis also reminded the students that while their teachers and parents would play their roles, they themselves would determine their own success stories.
And acknowledging cellular phones, computers and tablets were popular among youths, the former educator encouraged them to use these devices to their educational advantage.
“When you go on to secondary school, they are going to be asking you more and more to find the answer yourselves. They will tell you how to find it, but you have to do the work yourself. You must be involved in your own learning,” Francis advised.
Joining top girl Saraya was top boy Kelon Carrington, who will be headed to Christ Church Foundation.