Keishawn Thomas was “the star for a day” as a number of well known Barbadians including politicians and entertainers got together to assist him and offer their support.
The day of ‘celebration’ was spearheaded by Stephanie Chase, who was determined to raise the spirits of the eleven-year-old, who was at the centre of a cyber bullying video this week.
In a video posted on Barbados TODAY’s social media pages on Tuesday following this year’s 11-Plus Examination, Keishawn made a mistake while speaking about his four-hour-long experience, but immediately made the correction.
However, the video was edited by an individual or individuals to only highlight the mistake Keishawn made and not the correction. That clip has since gone viral.
In an Instagram post Chase said: “This morning with the help of my friends, I was able to arrange a very special occasion for Keishawn Thomas and his mother Keisha. He said he wanted to attend St. Leonard’s Boys School, so I invited Principal Stephen Scott, as well as the Parent-Teacher Association President Dale Forde and Vice President Teshia Hinds, who were more than eager to welcome him into their fold.”
Principal of the school Stephen Scott said, “St. Leonard’s was his first choice. It is a wonderful school that many wonderful Barbadians have attended, and we are well known for our Spanish programme. I would like to invite him and his mother to the school to have a tour, and even if he passes for a different school, he will still be part of the St. Leonard’s family.”
Meanwhile, Chase herself presented him with a backpack full of essential school supplies. “His mother said he has a tablet that needs updating, so we have a brand new Fire tablet here and some other little treats inside this gift bag. So when you get ready for secondary school and you have to go to Google Classroom, you will have your own device you can pack in your bag and you will be well set for online learning.
“We also got him a bag in colours close to those of the St. Leonard’s Boys School, and in it he has all the tools he will need for school, including pens, pencils, a geometry set, a scientific calculator; the only thing we did not get was a T-Square!”
Keishawn also received a scholarship from the Eden Lodge Youth Charitable Trust, which will cover the cost of his uniforms, shoes, petty fees and books regardless of the school for which he passes.
Billie June Langdon of the Eden Lodge Youth Charitable Trust told Keishawn, “Be strong and don’t worry about bullying too much. Don’t worry about what society has to say. You have strong family support and we are all here to support you as well.”
He also received an autographed copy of author Shakirah Bourne’s first book, My Fishy Stepmom, which is doing well throughout the Caribbean as well as in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. It includes a message stating, “Dear Keishawn, if I worried about every mistake I made I would never have finished this book. No mistakes mean no success.”
He also received a complimentary tour and lunch from the Animal Flower Cave, a gift voucher from Sweet Little Things and received some words of encouragement from his favourite entertainers including Edwin Yearwood, MarzVille, Mikey and DJ Puffy, who also presented him with a branded hat, T-shirt and pins.
However, the highlight of his day was meeting Prime Minister Mia Mottley and other members of her Cabinet who all praised him and wished him well. (DH)