Catherine Kennedy (right), Director of the GraceKennedy foundation, presents a Carlton Alexander Memorial Bursary to Peta-Jhay Shelly, student of Immaculate Conception High School. Sharing in the moment is Peta-Jhay’s mom Dionne Henry (left), employee of Dairy Industries Jamaica Limited.



Describing herself as a hard worker who has lofty ambitions of changing the world through medicine, Peta-Jhay Shelly has continued to make her mother, Dionne Henry, proud. Henry watched happily as her daughter accepted her Carlton Alexander Bursary Award earlier this month from the GraceKennedy Foundation.

Shelly’s consistent excellent academic performance since she was first granted the award in 2010 has merited her continued inclusion as a bursary recipient for six consecutive years.

The Immaculate Conception High School student, who started sixth-form at the prestigious school this month, has many reasons to celebrate.

The aspiring medical doctor recently received excellent results in the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) examinations, attaining nine ones in the nine subjects she sat.

“I was excited when I got my results because I continue to outdo my own expectations and I was also very happy to make my mother proud,” the student stated.

Shelly, who is focused on the sciences, was rewarded with a $60,000 bursary for her first year of sixth-form. If she continues to perform at a high standard, she could receive a similar amount in upper six. The Carlton Alexander Bursary Award offers a bursary of $40,000 to students in grades 7 to 11 while there is an increase to $60,000 per year for awardees who are in sixth-form. Students attending tertiary level educational institutions receive an award of $100,000 per annum.

The increase in the bursary has been welcomed with relief by Shelly, given the mounting expenses that come with matriculating into sixth-form at her institution. She sang praises of the Award which is in its 26th year.

“It is a great initiative and has helped my mother a lot over the years especially this year because the books are very expensive and now that I am in sixth form, my school fees have gone up,” explained Shelly who will be pursuing Biology, Chemistry and Spanish in the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).

The 17-year-old, who says she is not daunted by the expected challenge that sixth-form will present, is optimistic about matching her performance at the CSEC level in CAPE.

“I just want to stay focused and hope that I can come out of lower sixth with straight ones,” said Shelly.


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