written by: Rashaun Stewart
The 2019 iteration of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) has brought much elation to seventeen-year-old Adrian Rhoden. A student of Cornwall College, he has secured nine grade ones and one grade two in the external examinations. He earned grade ones in Additional Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, English A, Information Technology, Mathematics, Physics, Principles of Accounts and Spanish, with the grade two earned in English B.
He earned seven straight-A profiles in as many subjects, and also boasts grade ones in Human and Social Biology, Principles of Business and Social Studies from the 2018 sitting of CSEC. In total, he has earned thirteen subjects, with grade ones in twelve of them. Rhoden also obtained a spot on the national merit list for the 2018 sitting of Human and Social Biology, placing sixth nationally and graduated earlier this year as the salutatorian. He was somewhat subdued in expressing his elation at the results that he has attained.
“I’m quite pleased that the hard work and contributions that I and others have invested have brought forward such rewards,” Rhoden told the Western Mirror. “In preparation for the examinations, I studied in groups with my friends, went over questions outside of class and prepared a study timetable. In addition to those, I used my free sessions to complete additional questions and furthered my understanding of the more challenging topics through studying online.”
Rhoden was avidly engaged in co-curricular activities while at Cornwall College. He was involved in the Chess Club, Geography Club, Key Club and Spanish Club. He was a member of the Students’ Council, served as a Sub-Prefect and was vice-president of the Mathematics Club, PRO of the Interact Club and secretary of the Debating Society. He represented the school in the annual Mathematics Olympiad hosted by the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, placing highly among his grade level on each occasion.
While the young man has an impeccable track record, he encountered some challenges in preparing for his examinations. “One challenge I experienced while preparing for my examinations despite having a study timetable was proper distribution of my time,” Rhoden added. “Of course, I found some subjects much more challenging than others and so I often found myself neglecting the less difficult ones. Another challenge I experienced was balancing the work I put into preparing for external exams and the work I put into school assignments. Thankfully, everything worked out for the best in the end.”
A resident of Flower Hill in St. James, Rhoden experienced tragedy two years ago when his father, Oscar Rhoden, passed away from natural causes in May 2017. Since then, his mother, Claudia Jarrett, has been the primary source of motivation for the pursuit of his aspirations. In addition, there were several other stakeholders that the scholar expressed gratitude to for their contributions.
“I credit several persons with helping me to obtain these results: my mother, Claudia Jarrett, for her support and encouragement, my close friends and study mates, Guy Scott, Antoine Thelwell and Uchenna Njoku for their assistance and my favourite teacher, Mrs. Brown-Hill, for her guidance and her wisdom.”
Rhoden aims to become an obstetric gynaecologist and will continue his educational journey with an enrolment in the Cornwall College Sixth Form programme. Thereafter, he wishes to enroll at the UWI to obtain a degree in medicine. He affirmed that maintaining this standard of excellence is feasible if he remains focused on his goal and had words of advice for other students.
“I would advise other students to keep their heads up towards the future; remember the reward awaiting you at the finish line and please know that there is almost always someone yearning to assist you; someone who would love to see you succeed.”