Scholarship Deals :
The President’s Medal for outstanding performance in the 2022 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) has been awarded to Saira Mohammed and Makaya Huggins.
The Ministry of Education announced the winners on Friday.
Both pupils topped the country in their respective subject areas and earned open scholarships.
Mohammed, 19, is a past pupil of St Augustine Girls’ High School.
She was the top-performing pupil in environmental studies, information and communication technology, mathematics and natural sciences.
Huggins, also 19, attended Holy Faith Convent, Couva, and was the top-performing pupil in business studies, creative and performing studies, language studies, modern studies/humanities and technical studies.
Both expressed shock and joy when contacted by the Sunday Express yesterday.
“I was not expecting this,” said Mohammed. “I went into the exams with the only intention of doing my best. I was in complete shock. I couldn’t believe it despite my friends and family showing me the Ministry of Education’s post.”
Mohammed is currently studying at St George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada and hopes for a future profession in the medical field.
“I am not completely sure as to the exact speciality, but I hope to discover that during my years of study in medicine,” she said.
Mohammed credited her achievement to her parents, Sherina and Sheraaz Mohammed, as well as her teachers and school friends.
“Special mention to my science teachers at SAGHS, Mrs Dowlath (physics), who cares for her students as if they are her own children; Mr Ramlogan (biology) and Mr Neemar (chemistry), all dedicated to the success of their students,” she said.
She sent a special shoutout to her puppy, “Munchkin”, who she said was her study buddy.
Her advice to pupils preparing for the CAPE exams this year is to believe in themselves and work hard.
“Once you put in the time and effort, anything is possible. Remember that nothing that is worth it in life comes easily,” she said.
Glory to God
Huggins, who is currently studying human resource management at The University of the West Indies (UWI), said she, too, was in shock.
She said after receiving grade ones in all her subject areas, she had expected to win a scholarship.
But the President’s Medal was beyond her wildest dreams.
“I was very surprised, she said. “It wasn’t even a thought in my mind at the moment, so it was a big surprise for me. I was really shocked but I am very thankful to be one of the few persons who had the opportunity to receive one.”
Huggins credited her achievement to her faith in God.
“What helped me was to have full faith in God to have a relationship with Him. That is what gave me the grace to be able to accomplish so much in my academic life.
“I have to give Him all the glory, as well as having a strong support system. There are so many people who contributed greatly: my teachers, my spiritual leaders in church, my family, my friends….”
She said she was also happy to make the people in her life proud.
“I am really happy to be able to be used as an example for others and happy to be able to bring so much joy to those around me and to my school, especially because we wouldn’t have had a President’s Medal for a long time, so I am glad to be able to fulfil that desire….”
Huggins said she is unsure of what she wants to do now that she has received an open scholarship to study anywhere in the world.
“All of this is still very sudden,” she said. “But now that I have this new opportunity, I am very open to expanding my horizons. Maybe something in the field of business analytics.”
She advised other pupils preparing for exams to have faith and set goals.
“Just have a clear goal of what you want and you can come up with the steps to achieve it. Once you believe it is something attainable and you believe in God, you have full opportunity to achieve it.”