Support of the family is key to academic success

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A busy teen he is, so it took us several days to be able to pin him down, along with his parents, to talk about the road to success in becoming the region’s top student in this year’s Caribbean Secondary Examination Council with 20 grade one passes.
As we congratulated 17-year-old Keondre Herbert for his achievement, he identified family support, good friends, and his own ability to focus, find balance and be organised as the core things that made him who he is today.
FAMILY: “Throughout my educational journey they have provided all the necessary tools and basic requirements that I needed to be successful…whether it was making sure that I had enough water to carry to school, I had enough food to carry me throughout the school day, that had made a big impact on how I was able to learn and take in the information and to deal with the stress of having to undertake so [many]subjects.
I believe that the family or the support system that the family provides for the students or for young ones is one of the most important things that will ensure that a child on an educational journey would be successful. It is just not enough to provide financial support or to provide discipline. Emotional support is also necessary. Without emotional support, the child would not have self-esteem or confidence and when the child is having a rough day, they may have suicidal thoughts and without emotional support then these suicidal thoughts can actually manifest into suicidal behaviour.”
BALANCE: “I feel that always being on track with your studies will help to eliminate some of the stress that would come from dealing with extra-curricular activities while preparing for the CSEC examinations. While I was preparing for CSEC, I was involved in panorama during the first term of my fifth form
school year and the Interact Club.
This would have involved me spending [many] nights practicing at the pan yard, [many] nights preparing for the fundraisers we would have had with the Interact Club. I knew I was taking the time out to perform these activities and so what I did, I compensated the time taken out to complete these extra-curricular activities for my free time so that my study time wasn’t compromised.”
ADVICE: “The best advice I can give to students preparing to take CSEC exam is to set a plan in place. There is no point in waiting until last minute to begin preparations for the examinations. In fact, if you wait until the last minute then you’re basically planning to fail. Your chance of success will be much less than if you had spent the time earlier and made sure you had a study plan in place.
“Also, it is best that you identify your weaknesses and work on those instead of working on what you know you already can do.”
Keondre’s parents, Keith and Julia Herbert, also spoke with OBSERVER media, expressing how proud they are of his achievements and how satisfying it is to support him on his current journey at Island Academy where he is enrolled in the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme which is for two years. After that, the plan is that he would go on to study medicine.

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