BVI News

INSPIRE BVI: Jomar upbeat about major comeback

Jomar Balcombe collects a number of awards during his school’s graduation ceremony

By Davion Smith, BVI News Online Staff

If it’s broken, Jomar Balcombe will work until it’s fixed.

“I would just see something old, and find a way to fix it and get it working again. That’s just me,” he noted.

“I started fooling around engines way before age 13. I just like doing technical work.”

The 18 year-old, who is the top performer in Auto Mechanics this year at the Virgin Islands School of Technical Studies, intends to attend the New England Institute of Technology in Rhode Island, USA.

But his dream has suffered a slight delay.

Balcombe was among students who did not get their diplomas at the school’s graduation ceremony last week.

That is because he is yet to pass the Grade 12 Mathematics proficiency exit exam.

Like he does to automobile, the youngster is bent on repairing that academic glitch. He is positive.

“Not graduating did hurt, but things happen for a reason. Now, I have a chance to do over the subject, and I have the chance to get a scholarship. That even motivate me to try harder,” he told BVI News Online.

Balcombe’s talent did not go un-noticed when he attended his school’s graduation ceremony last week to watch 18 of his batch-mates graduate with diplomas.

During the ceremony, Minister of Education Myron Walwyn promised the youngster a Government scholarship to study auto mechanics because he is the top Auto Mechanics student at his school.

The promise of a scholarship has inspired Balcombe to work even harder at overcoming his hurdle.

“There is a quote that I live by. It says: ‘97 percent of the people who quit too soon are employed by the three percent who never gave up,” he further told BVI News Online.

Marine industry

Balcombe further stated that, although he loves automatics generally, his true passion lies in the marine industry.

“I’m interested in marine engineering and marine life. I like fixing boat engines and I’m more into the chartering,” he said, adding that he developed the passion for such specialization after he worked with engineer and boat captain Kevin Gray.

“I started fibre-glassing and repairing boats for him. Then he was branching off into electrical wiring and then we started off into the sailing, and then we started off into fishing… The thing about it is that auto mechanics and marine engineering come hand in hand. It’s basically the same thing,” added Balcombe.

Though yearning to earn a university degree and to gain as much experience as he possibly can, the youngster ultimately wants to start his own business in the field he is most passionate about.

“I definitely wouldn’t want to work for anyone for the rest of my life,” he said. “I could see myself or me and a colleague chartering and having our own engineering shop in marine repairs where we could service engines, and also keep storage for any guest who comes on the island and needs a place to dock their boat overnight. I can also be my own marine mechanic to work on my boats whenever there is an issue.”

Balcombe, in the meantime, made it clear that he will not give up on any of his dreams. “You have to have faith. Never give up. You cannot give up no matter how hard it might be, and you will have success in the end,” he said with much optimism and pride.

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