Afrecia Samuels is a 20-year-old who is the definition of the famous Jamaican phrase “likkle but tallawah”. This simply means that even though she is small in stature- standing at four feet and eleven inches tall- she is not to be taken lightly or underestimated.
Born in the district of Petersville in the parish of Westmoreland, Afrecia attended the then-Long Hill Basic school where she was top of her class. This is partly credited to her mother Pauline Gordon who ensured that she could read and write as well as spell at an early age. At the age of six, she moved to the community of Darliston in the same parish where she attended Caledonia All Age and Infant School for six years, where she was top of her classes and Class Prefect. During her tenure at her primary school, she participated in various activities such as inter-house quizzes and reading and spelling competitions among others. She represented her school in the Gleaner’s Spelling Bee Competition twice and went ahead to represent her parish in the Jamaica National Library Service Reading Competition. In her final year at her primary school, she sat the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), where she attained an average of 95 % which landed her a spot at the prestigious Manning’s School. In that same year she was awarded Valedictorian of the graduating class, Student of the year 2014, Top Girl and Top GSAT student.
Throughout her tenure at Manning’s, for the first five years, she has always secured a spot in the top two in her class. However, this may have seemed like mission impossible in third form when she broke her right arm- the hand she uses to do everything- and as a result, she was out school of for almost 3 months and went back about 3 weeks before sitting her end of year examinations. Her hand was broken but her motivation was not, and she was very persistent so that immediately as she went back to school, she copied all the notes that she had missed and read and taught herself all she could with the little time she had left. Not only was she placed first among her peers that year, but she was also on the headmaster’s honour roll for students with an average of 85 % and above. This goes to show that she is always dedicated and determined to accomplish her goals despite whatever adversities faced as she is fully aware that diamonds are made under pressure. It is with that mindset that she sat both her CSEC and CAPE exams and was rewarded 9 ones and 1 two, and 6 ones and 2 twos respectively with 2 national placings and 1 regional placing. She is not only brains as she balances her time well and was very involved in co-curricular activities and community involvement serving as Co-president for the Girl Guides Association and Prefect among other things.
As Afrecia matriculants to the University of the West Indies to major in the Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery. Her studies will equip her with the necessary tools to build opportunities for others in her community. She believes that through education there are endless possibilities. Education gives her the opportunity to elevate herself and others. She strongly believes that it is her way out, her golden ticket to a better life for herself and her family. Thanks to the Josephine Lilly Wolf Memorial Scholarship Foundation, she is now able to achieve this dream of helping herself and others to have a better future and by extension building a better Jamaica.