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‘My formula is to pray, work hard, and sleep’

Sharayah John and her parents

By Davion Smith, BVI News Online Staff

“Awww.” That was the sound emitted by some graduates when their valedictorian Sharayah John paused mid-speech on Sunday to present a surprise gift basket to her parents Elvis and Ann-Marie John.

The 16-year-old graduate of the BVI Seventh Day Adventist [Secondary] School was in cahoots with her brother to pull off the surprise presentation.

She said the gesture was her way of saying thanks to her parents for supporting her ‘all the way’.

The native of St Vincent and the Grenadines graduated at the top of her class with a Grade Point Average of 4.24.

One would not expect less from the daughter of two educators. Mr and Mrs John both teach at the said educational institution.

Already, Sharayah has two Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) subjects under her belt. She sat Human and Social Biology in third form, and received a Grade One (the highest possible grade). She then tackled Social Studies in CXC the following year and earned a Grade Two in that subject.

Sharayah is now awaiting results for the nine CXC subjects she sat this year.

She wants to cement her place at the University of the Southern Caribbean in Trinidad and Tobago, where she has been accepted tentatively.

“I plan to go there for two years to do my general studies, and then my hope is to move on to Oakwood University in the United States. I’m planning to do a double major – Biochemistry and Accounting.”

“I want to be well-rounded when I get back here [in the BVI],” Sharayah told BVI News Online.

At the end of her university studies, she hopes to settle on which of her two loves – accounting or the sciences – she will turn into a career.

“I have not decided as yet, but one of the career goals I have in mind is to be a forensic scientist. The job itself is actually interesting, because you’re using your Science skills to actually solve crimes. I really like Accounts too; so becoming and accountant – no problem,” Sharayah further told BVI News Online.

Asked about the formula for the academic success she has reaped so far, the top student said: “My formula is to pray, work hard, study, and sleep.”

She also recalled long hours of extra classes, adding that she was never hesitant to question her teachers whenever she did not understood certain lessons.

Sharayah recommends that other students adopt a similarly good work ethic. “The journey through high school is not easy. So, if you don’t understand something, make sure you go to the teachers. Study hard and don’t take anything for granted. All the extra classes that I took were real draining, but it paid off,” Sharayah further told BVI News Online.

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