There is a saying that nothing in life worth having comes easy.
Whether it is a job, school or sport, to get ahead in life and be successful means you have to do the work, says Veshala Goon.
Goon was thrust into the limelight a few weeks ago after winning the President's Medal, one of the highest awards for academic excellence in the country at the secondary school level.
Goon, who attended Lakshmi Girls' Hindu College, describes the moment after learning of her amazing achievement as surreal.
In an interview with the Express, the 18-year-old said staying focussed and being driven were crucial to her success.
The term “beating book” was definitely a part of Goon's daily life.
She said success does not happen overnight, adding that one has to understand the importance of patience and determination.
“Always have that desire within you to be the best that you can be. Once that desire within you is strong enough I am certain that you yourself will exert the required amount of effort to succeed.
“If you are hard working and courageous enough to pursue your greatest desires or aspirations you will be successful in achieving your goals,” she said.
Third Medal for Lakshmi Girls
Goon achieved distinctions in all subjects she wrote: Accounting, Economics, Caribbean Studies, Management of Business, and Communications.
She said: “I've always done well in school. However, I started pushing myself more when I started Form Six since I knew that I had a strong desire to be very successful in my CAPE exams.”
For Lakshmi Girls' Hindu College, this year is the third year in a row they have won a President's Medal.
In 2015, the school won the President's Medal for Business, in 2016 for Science and this year for Business.
Goon says Lakshmi Girls' was her first choice school, and she is glad to have received a great education.
“For the past seven years at Lakshmi, I did seven different co-curricular activities which included MI09 (Board Games Club), floral decorating, scrabble, needle art, paper craft and design, power yoga and martial arts.
“These were mandatory and were built into our school's weekly routine. It contributed to us being well-rounded students and I give praise to our principal, Mrs Sonia Mahase Persad, for giving us the privilege to partake in these various activities,” she said.
Goon plans on furthering her studies in Toronto, Canada, next year.
She said: “My initial plan was to be a chartered accountant, but, as new opportunities arise my plans may change.
“My long-term goal is to be able to provide for my family. After all they have sacrificed for me to reach my current position,” she said.
Goon said having the love and support of her family, friends and teachers motivated her to do her best, adding that balancing her academics with her extra-curricular activities is key.
Goon described herself as a kind-hearted and supportive individual.
She said: “I will always make it my duty to help someone in whatever little way I can.”