AT 15 years old, Jada Charlton is carrying a full course load at the College of the Bahamas in pursuit of her goal of becoming a brain surgeon.
Passing five BGCSEs with C or above grades in the 10th grade afforded her the opportunity to skip the rest of high school and earn a government scholarship at the college.
The former Abraham’s Bay High School student credits her success to the excellent teachers who taught her in Mayaguana, as well as family and community support.
Two months ago, Jada was invited to the House of Assembly by Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Jerome Fitzgerald, who heralded her achievements.
After that event, he invited her to the ministry to discuss further assistance she required to make her studies and life in New Providence easier.
The soft-spoken young lady informed Mr Fitzgerald that a computer would greatly assist her, as she now has to travel to her aunt’s house every evening to use the computer to complete assignments.
The minister contacted Pia Farmer, director of Customs Computers, to request a considerable discount on an Apple iMac Pro Notebook (Jada’s preference).
He then sought the assistance of Candy Roberts, of Super Value, asking her to make a donation towards the computer.
Ms Roberts agreed to contribute to the cause and the computer was purchased.
The next step was securing a phone to enable the aspiring surgeon to let her mother know of any changes to her school schedule.
Persis Charlton, Jada’s mother, relocated to Nassau to be with her daughter while she attends COB.
Mr Fitzgerald reached out to BTC’s chief executive officer, Geoff Houston, who on hearing Jada’s success story, was eager to play a part in her education.
Christmas came early for Jada, when she was called to the Ministry to pick up her gifts.
Not only did she get an iMac Pro notebook; she received one of the best models in the shop.
Mrs Farmer revealed at the presentation that her company decided to upgrade the laptop purchased for Jada to the latest model; provide a printer and some paper, as well as a laptop case and book bag.
“Custom Computers is always happy to support excellence in education, and we are extremely pleased to be able to help to provide this remarkable young woman with what we like to call, ‘the tools you need to succeed’,” said Mrs Farmer.
“We would like to congratulate Jada for her outstanding achievements and very much look forward to following her progress in the future.”
Jerome Sawyer, BTC senior manager for public relations, presented Jada with a Nokia Lumina phone and package of minutes which brought a big smile to her face.
Mr Sawyer said BTC believes in education and in young people and was happy to assist Jada in her studies.
“Sometimes in New Providence we forget about the talent in the Family Islands and particularly students in the Southeast Bahamas like Mayaguana.
“Your achievement is a testimony of the quality of education in the Bahamas,” he said.
Mr Sawyer promised Jada that if she stays on track and completes her education in record time, BTC will have something for her at the finish line.
Jada thanked all the people who helped her and said the equipment will be most useful as she continues her education.
She admitted that it is difficult to being in college at such a young age but she has adjusted. “It is all about ability, rather than age,” she said.
The freshman’s course load includes English 119; Biology 100; Math 140; Chemistry 071 and Spanish 103.
Mr Fitzgerald thanked Customs Computers, Candy and Rupert Roberts of Super Value and Geoff Houston of BTC for their generosity.