Can any good thing come from Carenage? If you ask the pupils of St Peter's RC Primary School, Point Cumana, Carenage, you will hear a resounding yes! The primary school recognised and celebrated its pupils' achievements recently at the school's 2nd annual Achievement Day and Awards Ceremony, held at the St Peter's RC Church in Carenage, with the theme “Stars Amongst Stars”.
The awards ceremony highlighted a wide cross section of disciplines in which the pupils excelled and awards were given out in areas including excellence in sports, discipline, religion, deportment and academics, for which the pupils received medals, award certificates and prizes.
Carenage Son of the soil and well known and celebrated gospel artiste and inspirational speaker, Jaron Nurse, spoke about his hardships growing up in a stigmatised community and battling the odds to escape a life of drugs and prison. Nurse praised his adoptive parents for setting him on a straight and narrow part, but he admitted that peer pressure and following bad company caused him to make wrong choices.
Maya Ahye receives her certificate for her excellent performance in Second Yeear from Principal Lester Telesford and Merle John.
Citing the ceremony's theme “Stars amongst Stars”, Nurse told pupils to choose to shine even though their situation might seem bleak.
Even though your situation might seem dark, you can still shine. You can still choose to be a bright star in this dark world.
“I consider myself to be a star in Carenage because I chose to be different. I chose to live everyday better than the day before. I choose to do the right thing. In life you will not be rewarded for every good deed, but don't let that stop you from doing good. Do good even though it's tough, do good even though you are under pressure, and choose to be a star amongst stars,” Nurse said.
Nurse said some of his closest friends are either in prison or dead. “You don't need a rocket scientist to see what would have been my fate if I had continued in that life. If I didn't choose to be a star I would be dead or in prison. In secondary school I wanted to stand out, so I decided to sell marijuana at age 14. I wanted to be a star and I thought that by doing these things I would be a star, but I wasn't a bright star, I was foolish. I was involved in many fights in school, I got arrested, and now the same pen I used to stab someone, is the same pen I am using today to write and be a blessing to many because I chose to be a star.
Past pupil Tyrese Williams receives his award for his outstanding performance in Standard Five. He received a certificate from principal Lester Telesford for achieving First Class Honours.
Nurse asked to question, “Can any good thing come from Carenage?” to which he received a resounding yes from pupils. He said he did not let his challenges define him, and reminded the students that Carenage has churned out some of this country's top sporting athletes and other personalities, who also didn't let their circumstances define them. Nurse performed a couple of his popular reggae songs including his largely popular community anthem, an ode to Carenage, titled “Good things” (Can come from Carenage).
The school's principal, Lester Telesford, who have been principal of the school for nine years, gave his last formal speech as the principal, as he is expected to retire next year. He said the school has journeyed a long road to success. He said over the years the school has been improving incrementally, mainly through the efforts of dedicated and committed staff. “The staff did dream and came up with a vision and a mission of what they wanted for this school. They then shared that vision with the parents and students who came on board, and over the years, supported their efforts to realise what we are witnessing and experiencing today. Was it easy? It was not.
Some of the pupils from St Peters RC Primary School in Pt Cumana with their certificates and medals for their achievements in various subjects.
“The staff challenged the status quo to bring change and impact the lives of each and every child that joined our student body. They continue today to expose them to various disciplines, which co-exist alongside the academics,” Telesford said. Telesford boasted about the school's art programme, reading programme and other cultural activities such as dance, drama and drumming and cub scouts. He urged his pupils to make use of the opportunities given to them. “Your purpose here is to learn and to become the best you possible, hopefully with the right support system at home. Always strive to be better than you were yesterday,” Telesford said.