Contrary to popular belief, no matter what you have achieved, there is always something more to give or attain as long as you are still alive, so you must always live up to your full potential no matter what obstacles may come your way.
Former Coleridge & Parry (CP) student Jason Marshall issued this wise counsel to the current crop of students at his alma mater as he delivered the feature address at the school’s Speech Day and Prize Giving ceremony this morning.
Focusing on the theme Living a Life of Favour, Striving Always for Excellence, Marshall acknowledged that “many of us are placed in situations where we feel we have no choice, but the truth is, we feel that way because we are afraid of the consequences.
“So it is important to make the right choices from the very start, and recognize that you may have to drop some people out of your life if they do not have your best interests at heart,” he said.
The former student, who specializes in research for public and private sector institutions, explained that his path to excellence began at CP when he only passed four subjects at CXC level.
“My parents wanted me to go back to CP, but I decided to go to the O’ Level Institute because I felt I would have to do too many subjects if I returned to school,” he explained, adding that “sometimes you must make decisions for yourself that others may not like, but you must do what you are most comfortable with.
“I worked my way through the O’ Level Institute; I cracked tiles, chased tennis balls, and worked in construction.
“While I was at Barbados Community College I worked putting deck chairs on a beach at a resort. I did not tell my fellow students about that job because I felt they would look down on it, but I [soon] realized that everything is a footpath to the direction you want to go in.”
Marshall however urged the students to “always strive for an ‘A’.
“Never say, ‘I just want to pass’ when it comes to an exam, because if you aim for a ‘C’, just to pass, you may wind up getting an ‘F’,” he cautioned.
He also reminded them to put God first in everything they did and advised them to seek counsel from their teachers, “because they care about you and want to see you do well.”
In her address, Principal Sonja Goodridge, who just completed her first year at the helm of the St Peter learning institution, outlined some of the school’s accomplishments over the past year, including the numerous awards it won at this year’s National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA), especially in music and visual arts.
Former Head Boy Dwayne Archer won the Principal’s Prize for Best Performance at CXC as well as several other awards for his work over the past year, and former Head Girl Simone Merchant won the Principal’s Prize for Leadership among others.
The title of Best All Round Student went to Jazel Griffith, while among the upcoming students, Abraham Alexander received numerous prizes for his work. CARIFTA Games gold medalist Rasheeme Griffith was Sportsperson of the Year.