Students invited to “believe in themselves”

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Radio host Richard Trumpet speaks to students in the Department of Education Vacation Review Program at Success Laventille High School. Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Education

RADIO personalities spent two hours on Friday cheering on 140 students who scored less than 50 percent on the Secondary School Entrance Examination (SEA).

The students were assured that they could do great things in life once they didn’t give up, continued to believe in themselves, and took their education seriously.

The message of encouragement was the cornerstone of the Ministry of Education’s Turn Up, Don’t Give Up caravan, which is the culmination of its holiday review program.

The caravan arrived at Success/Laventille High School on Friday and will visit Sangre Grande on Monday.

The children who passed for Malick Secondary, Morvant Laventille Secondary and Success Laventille Secondary School, were at Success/Laventille Secondary School on Friday, where they heard from local personalities, Richard Trumpet, Kerron “Tim Tim” Boodoosingh, Kerron “Sunny Bling” Sealy and soca artist Mical “Mical Teja” Williams, and their peers Nkosi Thomas and Vettori Webb, both participants in the military-run university training program (Milat).

Thomas said he didn’t write SEA and went to Servol for two years because he “used to have a lot of problems”. He admitted to stealing meals from the school feeding program and said he rebelled against his parents’ separation, so he gave a hard time chasing his in-laws.

Milat participants Nkosi Thomas (L) and Vettori Webb meet host Ghenere Herrah at the Ministry of Education’s vacation review program at Success Laventille Secondary School. Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Education

Thomas said Servol’s teachers never gave up on him and it wasn’t until he was about to leave the school that he realized how much trouble he was causing them.

“My message to you is this: you see choices, insure and do the right thing. Trouble comes like a horse, very fast and goes like a snail, very slowly.

Thomas thanked Milat’s instructors for teaching him to read and write.

Webb admitted during his time in high school that he struggled with math. He said it wasn’t until his teacher, Mr. Antoine, took the time to talk with him that he discovered his passion for the subject.

He encouraged those who listened to him to fight for what they believed in.

Sealy told the group of students that he learned a lot during the pandemic as he returned to school to pursue his passion for digital marketing. He encouraged the group not to be ashamed of the schools they went to. He said he too passed for Success/Laventille Secondary, but had to repeat.

“At least you’re moving on, I came back because I had to rehearse,” Sealy said.

He admitted to being a “class clown”, but also encouraged them to believe in themselves and work towards what they wanted to achieve. During Trumpet’s speech, a girl received $100 for volunteering to sing. He used his willpower to point out that life’s rewards may not always be visible at the start, but that they have to push to be the best at everything they do.

Trumpet said even his own father had harsh words for him about his future, but said it motivated him to “do better”. He said he repeated his Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) exams, studying during the day, while working at night, to earn six passes. Now he said his father was proud of his accomplishments.

Williams and Boodoosingh both entertained and motivated the students. Their message was for them to use their talents to achieve what they wanted in life.

The ministry’s vacation review program is not only intended to provide remedial work for those entering the secondary school system in September, but also serves to boost their confidence.