“A NEW ME ROSE FROM THE ASHES”
by Elombe Calvert, A 2015 PALAS Awardee. Excerpts from his Essay
Dreams and aspirations meant nothing to me. As far as I believed, they were just tales and fables made to believe achievable by a partial system that selected only a privileged few to make something good of themselves. For the longest time, as far back as I could remember, all my dreams and aspirations seemed distance and unattainable.
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The flames burnt away my unprogressive mentality, and a new person rose from the ashes. For the first time in my entire life I saw it, I saw my dreams and aspirations flashing in small pulses across my eyes. At that moment, that small fraction of time my face froze and tears rolled down my cheeks. A strange feeling infiltrated my petrified body, one that I had not experienced before, it was a feeling of hope, hope for the future. With chuckles and a smile that stretched from one cheek to the next, I knew I could achieve all my dreams. This tragedy opened my eyes to the all the possibilities and I started to dream big, as big as any boy my age could dream.
Now seeing life at a different angle, I started to excel in my studies, most notably; I garnered 15 subjects in the 2013 CSEC Examinations, with 14 distinctions and topping my graduating class at Manning’s School that year. With this performance, I was named the Top performer at Manning’s School by the Jamaica Association of Principals for Secondary Schools (JAPSS). In addition, at the end of my tenure in lower sixth form at Manning’s School, I was placed first in the Sciences; I attained three distinctions at CAPE; I was on the Head Master’s Honour Roll and was named a Top CAPE performer at the Manning’s School. The Renaissance of change that was initiated in my life was not only limited to the class room but also transcend to my involvement in school. I became an active member in the Business Society, 4-H Club, Science Club, EGLJ, Business Society and the Performing Arts. Apart from being an ordinary member and holding various executive positions in these clubs, I have attained a number of awards through my involvements. I have held the prestigious title of Westmoreland’s 4-H Boy of the Year for two years, I am the 2013-second place winner of the SRC National Oratory Science competition and I am part of the team that placed third in the SRC’s National Young Inventors/Innovators competition. In addition, I am the 2015 Dr. Steve Wilson’s Business plan competition first winner and I have won a number of medals at the JCDC’s Speech Festival.
In order for a person to be truly well rounded, they must exude some amount of leadership potential, a trait that is innately intertwine into my very being. Over the years, I have held a number of leadership positions, most noted: I was the Deputy Head Boy for my primary school; I am a Prefect of the Manning’s School and the Youth PRO for the Y’s Service Club of Westmoreland.
In retrospect, I have been through a lot over the years but in spite of my circumstances, I have found a way to overcome those hurdles and still shine bright as any well-polished diamond. Thus, with this said I am a perfect match for this scholarship as I meet and exceed all the requirements being assessed and so should be a worthy recipient. I am now faced with another hurdle, as I need financing to cover some of my college fees to do Medicine at UWI, and so I would be ecstatic to receive a coveted PALAS Scholarship. If selected for this scholarship, I will continue to apply the same diligence to my tertiary studies as I have to this point, making education and service to others my top priority.
Please make a donation online at www.PALAS1.org to support these scholarships. PALAS awards 95 scholarships in 2015 in Jamaica. Preserving Young Minds for Posterity.