Jamaica Gleaner / Clarendon native Jessica Chambers recalls that she was not able to read as fluently as others at the age of five years old, although her parents would expose her to books and provide her with the resources she needed, despite their challenging circumstances, her father being a small farmer and her mother working for minimum wage.
But those circumstances did not deter Chambers. she was able to make her way through primary school and then to Glenmuir High School.
“I have been performing well academically from a tender age. It was during high school that I realised that I had great potential and that God had blessed me with the ability to learn and apply,” she said. “I had maintained a first- or second-place position during my high school years, getting eight A’s or more. I was also honours graduate at high school, with the second-highest average in my year, and I obtained 11 subjects at the CSEC level, which included nine grade ones.”
It was always a dream of Jessica to attend university, particularly the University of the West Indies. “I was adamant about making my dream a reality, and so, there was no second guessing as to whether I would attend university.” She chose accounting, describing it as a diversified area of business.
But there was, of course, the financial hurdle to be overcome. Resources were still scarce, and as good as her academic performance certainly was, grades alone were not going to be enough.
Jessica was indeed on the verge of giving up, but a proverbial ray of hope arrived with the CB Group UWI 5k Scholarship Programme.
“I received a call in 2016 that I was a recipient,” Jessica recalls. “From there on, I started researching and got to know more about it.” Since the initial award, Jessica has received scholarship funding for 2016-17 and 2017-18. Naturally, the initial news left her almost at a loss for words. “I was super excited, elated. Just the thought of knowing that my tuition would be fully paid for made it overwhelmingly joyous for me.”
Now firmly focused on completing her studies. Jessica’s plan is to graduate with first-class honours and to begin her career in the wonderful world of auditing. But, of course, it doesn’t end there. She said: “I am also looking forward to completing my exams and obtaining the relevant experience necessary for me to be a certified chartered accountant. It is also a future plan of mine to give back, whether in time, service, or monetary value, as best as I can because I am a product of others’ philanthropy.”
When not “beating the books”, Jessica keeps to her small social circle, including friends that she first cultivated in high school. She also maintains contact with her family and especially her younger sister, who is a student of the University of Technology. Her family can soon look to boast two tertiary graduates.