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Chelsea leaves Naps for Rio Claro…and wins a scholarship

Trinidad Express / RIO Claro West Secondary School pupil Chelsea Sudama has won a national scholarship.

It was the fourth in five years for government secondary.

Sudama, 19, of Rio Claro was a pupil at Naparima Girls High School and left the school to complete her Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) at Rio Claro West Secondary.

The overjoyed teen spoke to the Express about her achievement on Monday.

“This has come as a shock to me. I still can’t believe this is real. I was expecting to do well but not to win a scholarship,” she said.

Sudama credited her dedicated teachers who she said pushed her and to her family for their unwavering support.

She said that despite leaving a school which has the justifiably “prestigious” title placed on it, , she knew that she would be giving up a chance of making “connections” and meeting the “right people” when she chose to attend a school in her hometown.

This did not matter to her, as she firmly believed in her abilities to succeed.

“I thought that getting a scholarship was really out of my reach but my teachers kept pushing me and encouraging me and it was through this that I was able to get this scholarship. It was tough and there were many sacrifices but this became the result of all my hard work. There were times I wanted to give up and my Communications teacher Miss Akalloo, was always supportive and would always have little chats with me, reminding me that I was very much capable of winning a scholarship,” said Sudama.

Asked why she would leave attending Naparima Girls High School which is a school known for producing many scholarship winners, Sudama said: “I live in Rio Claro and the back and forth was taking a toll on me. Distance was my biggest problem and at Rio Claro I was able to get that individual attention. When I first applied to Rio Claro the principal was confused as to why I would leave Naps but it wasn’t that there was anything wrong, or that I was a troubled child, I just didn’t want that hassle with the distance anymore”.

Sudama said she is now one step closer to her goal of becoming a doctor with the possibility of specialising in nephrology (kidney speciality). She has already been accepted into the University of the West Indies Medical Sciences faculty for 2018. At CAPE, she obtained all ones for both year one and year two subjects. She completed five subjects than the regular four subjects required for CAPE students.

In 2010, Chelsea placed in the top 200 when she wrote the Secondary Entrance Assessment examination.

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