Congratulations and commendations are coming in for 18 year old Otisa Wilmoth, immediate past head girl of Green Pond High School in St James, who scored six distinctions in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations, to top her graduating class.
On Tuesday when she got her results, Otisa learnt she had made a haul of seven subjects, with six grades ones in physics, biology, mathematics, English language, information technology, and human and social biology as well as a grade three in chemistry, which made her one of 27 students of Green Pond to accomplish 100 per cent passes.
Among those who issued congratulations to Otisa was Juliet Holness, Member of Parliament for East Rural St. Andrew and wife of Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
“I was deeply moved by the story of Otisa Wilmoth…,” Holness said. “Otisa’s story reminds us that we can rise above our circumstances and achieve our goals.”
Holness also announced that a laptop computer, which Green Pond’s principal Principal Elisea Ellis-Spence said the teenager badly needed, would be presented to Otisa, who wants to become a cardiovascular surgeon, to enable her to continue her sixth form education at the school.
“As we congratulate her on her examination success, we would also like to donate to her through the Save Our Boys and Girls Foundation the computer she needs to assist with further education. Congratulations again Otisa Wilmoth and keep striving for excellence,” Holness added.
According to Otisa, she was disappointed at first when she started reading her results and saw that she obtained a grade three for chemistry, as it is one of her favourite subjects. She said her disappointment quickly turned to joy, when she saw the string of distinctions.
Otisa’s high school journey began at Irwin High School, also in St James, where, after she got pregnant in grade nine, she was shunned by most of her family, who stopped supporting her financially.
Fortunately The Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation (WCJF) in Brandon Hill, Montego Bay, stepped in and provided her with the necessary support. She sat the Grade Nine Achievement Test whilstat the centre, and was placed at Green Pond High, where she was embraced by the academic and support staff, including the principal.
She attained the highest average in the school from the outset, but had had many financial problems because she was supporting her baby whilst trying to succeed academically.
“My teachers, the guidance counsellor, and principal helped me to attend school by providing bus fare and lunch for me,” she explained.
Otisa’s achievements come as no surprise to Principal Elisea Ellis-Spence , who said the 18 year old disciplined and consistent, as well as “always shown great promise”, as she topped her stream annually and was named Student of the Year. Her only disappointment was that Otisa has not secured a scholarship to support her further studies. She is happy however that the teen has surmounted a many obstacles which could have caused her to throw in the towel.