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Struggle and the corresponding improvement this leads to is a result of an ongoing process over many years. Nothing can ever be achieved quickly. Nothing can be done without years of hard work. Every day the struggle becomes a bit more intense, but with each passing day, you become better, you become more resilient. With each passing day, you become closer to your goal. Omarrio Daley is an embodiment of this ideology.

His early life began in Delveland, Westmoreland, but was relocated to the Broughton community due to the high crime rate in Delveland. He flourished academically but relocated again in his third year of primary school when his parents separated. Consequently, the latter part of his childhood years was spent moving between different locations. Despite the psychosocial toll it took on him, he emerged as the top Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) student in the school as well as valedictorian at graduation.

Matriculating to high school alone was a momentous occasion for Omarrio. It was not just an academic transition, but also social mobility for his family as neither his mother nor father had the opportunity to finish high school.

The motivational wind beneath Omarrio’s wings is his fervent desire to accomplish his mother’s final wish, which was to be the first person in his family to achieve tertiary education. He grew up in Broughton, Westmoreland, in an environment that was less than suitable for a growing child. His resident vicinity is notorious for drugs, lottery scamming and alcoholism. One might question how he managed to stay affixed to his ambitions. The answer is simple. Amid all the struggles he faced, and sacrifices he made failure simply was not an option.

Financial constraints were always present, but after the death of his mother in 2018, they took a turn for the worse. An incomprehensible strain was placed on his father who was now the sole breadwinner on a carpenter’s salary that was not fixed or sure of. At this point, Omarrio stepped into the role of adulthood without even truly being able to complete boyhood. He would help to look after his siblings, and additionally worked alongside his father in carpentry to earn extra money for his family. He spent long, arduous days toiling alongside his father under the sun’s gaze consumed in carpentry for hours without end.

Such a feat attracted exorbitant costs. In addition to arriving home from work late at night, he had homework to do and tests to study for upon his arrival. Despite the strain this placed on him, he managed to successfully pass nine (9) subjects in his CSEC examinations at the fifth form level, five (5) of which were grade ones. In light of this extraordinary feat, he was awarded an automatic placement in the school’s 6th form Pre-college program.

By some stretch of time itself, Omarrio has been extremely active in his school and home community. He operates as an active member of the school’s Tourism Action Club, Debating Society and Leo Club. His aptitude for excellence does not end there. He is also one of the school’s most ardent, and promising athletes as he serves with distinction on the school’s volleyball team as vice-captain and just recently placed third in the entire country. Within his community, he conducts reading lessons in his spare time with a number of children in his community.

Omarrio’s zeal for problem solving is his hallmark. It is what leads him to prospectively pursue a degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Technology starting September 2022. The thing he is proudest of in his matriculation is finally having the opportunity to appease his mother’s final wish by being able to show his siblings and the other children in his community that struggle does not define them but enhances them. He submitted his university application without the slightest knowledge of how his tuition fee would be paid, but he was determined to achieve his goal somehow, so he did what he knew best. He worked against all odds, and ultimately secured the prestigious Josephine Lily Wolf Memorial Scholarship.

This scholarship has given him what he never had in his life prior to this-freedom to control the narrative. It has given him a chance at a future. It has given him closure and peace knowing he is able to satisfy his parents hopes and dreams of going to university.

Omarrio’s story is a freedom song of struggle. It is about finding one’s purpose, how to overcome adversity, and stand up for a cause; a purpose bigger than oneself. It is his hope that other struggling youth will see his story and use it as a reminder that success is not final, failure is not fatal, but it is the courage to continue that counts.



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