Strict parenting combined with self-discipline and focus resulted in two St Francois Girls' College pupils—Fayola Pompey, 19, and Chantalle Jacob, 18—achieving two Additional National scholarships this year.
Their achievements are for Sciences and Business respectively following the CAPE (Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination) examinations.
The St Francois Valley Road, Belmont, school is known for academic excellence and principal Jenifer Gittens has praised the former pupils for their outstanding performance.
Following a morning assembly, Gittens told the Express that when she received the news on Friday afternoon it came as no surprise to her.
"We're very proud of them," she said. "But we knew that these girls were outstanding and focused. They worked hard and they were committed. It was reflected in their CXC results. We knew that once they kept on the right track they were going to be scholarship winners, and they did. Thanks goes to their parents and all the teachers who gave them that support."
She added, "We know how bright (our girls) are. We know we have all the resources here to assist them. It is just a matter of being motivated and pushing themselves. Over the years we have gotten scholarships and we want to continue (that trend)."
Gittens stressed, "Motivation is the key factor. We can have everything but if the student does not want it for herself nothing will happen. You have to be clear about what you want and be willing to make that sacrifice."
She said the school earned an 87 per cent pass rate for CXC and a 98 per cent pass rate at CAPE this year.
Science scholarship winner Pompey said a friend woke her up with a BBM message telling her the good news.
"Everyone was expecting me to get one because I really did put in a lot of hard work," she said.
Pompey said that during her examination preparations, Facebook was "a no-no".
"I actually got a BlackBerry before exams but I waited until after exams to hook up a BBM plan. I had to cut back on TV and computer time. I knew what I had to do. After school I had lessons or would take a rest and then study straight through the night into the morning."
"As it got closer to exams, I knew liming had to stop," she continued. "I got to enjoy myself for a period of time and then nothing until after exams."
Pompey says she is taking the rest of the year off to gain some work experience and do the SAT exams in 2013. She plans to study medicine abroad.
An elated Jacob said her former principal called her on Saturday morning to give her the news.
"My mother was with me and we both started jumping," she said.
She revealed that she had a lot of nights without sleep coming down to exam time. Socialising was not an issue. She said, "I have a really strict mother so I never really got to go out anyway."
Jacob says she wants to complete her Management Studies degree at the University of the West Indies and do her Master's abroad.
Her advice to pupils: "Pray hard, keep God in everything you do. Know what you want and work towards it, stay focused and pace yourself."