Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Saturday | August 27, 2011
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Abigail Allen: An overall achiever
Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:Her passion for dancing had to be put on hold in order to secure excellent grades in the 2011 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations and this decision by Abigail Allen paid off with 10 distinctions.

"I love dancing. It is what I use to relieve stress and minister to persons through my Christian faith," the affable and outspoken Abigail said.

"But I had to give up dancing momentarily to study and focus on getting great CSEC results. I am not surprised at the results. It is just a test that proved that if you put in the work, you will get results."

Achieving excellence is not an afterthought for this former Mount Alvernia High School student, who will now move on to study pre-university science at the Montego Bay Community College.

The 17-year-old also has under her belt 65 high-school academic trophies, which is an average of 13 awards every year since grade seven.

The CSEC subjects in which Abigail gained distinctions are mathematics, English language, information technology, Spanish, geography, biology, chemistry, physics, principles of business, and principles of accounts. She also got straight As for her competence in the subject areas.

Competitive spirit

"I want to do well. I am competitive when it comes on to my academics, but I don't want to just settle when I can do more than that," she affirmed.

She also offered her simple steps to success for students entering the final year of high school.

"You must first desire the results you want, then make the sacrifice to prepare, revise, do past papers and study and listen in class. Also draw from positive encouragement and the knowledge from teachers and others who have been successful at what you trying to pursue."

Her mother, Lecia Allen, who is a teacher at Cornwall College in Montego Bay, noted that her daughter's performance did not come as a surprise to the family.

"Both myself and my husband didn't expected anything less from Abigail, as she is a student who has always been performing throughout high school," her mother said proudly.

"But as parents, it is still a great pride to see your children work so hard and are rewarded for the efforts, so we are very elated that it has all paid off."

She added that although Abigail is a dancer, junior councillor, Key Club member and also very active in church - The Meeting Place - her daughter is focused and knows what she wants.

"It makes my job as a parent easy as she is self-motivated and driven. As such, we give her the freedom of recreation because we believe that she needs some downtime," Mrs Allen shared. "We trust her decisions in knowing what is acceptable and what is not and I believe that has helped to make her the type of person she is."

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