Best, Brightest CSEC, CAPE Students Honoured
Very often, youths exhibiting antisocial behavior become the subject of the headlines in our nightly newscast.
But, while they get the headlines, they don't represent the whole because a there's a super-majority of Belizean youths who excel and do right every day.
So today, when the Ministry held a ceremony in honor of this year's top CSEC examination performers 7News attended and caught up with a few of these bright young people.
Here's what they had to say about the award ceremony, and about their plans to further their education:
Mireli Solis - 3rd Place, CSEC Examinations 2012
"Well, I just went over the program, and I'm getting a plaque. So, I guess I wasn't coming here with the expectations of getting anything big, but a plaque is nice, and it's nice to know that you're getting recognized for your work."
"Tell us a little bit about how much effort it took to actually perform excellently in the CSEC."
"Well, I had to go through a rigorous course work throughout the year. I had to pay attention in all my classes; I had a lot of work to do. I had a lot of homework to do; I had to a lot of independent studying, since I took some subjects independently. Before the exams I had to review again, so I was a lot of work. I mean I took my breaks as I saw the need to, but I feel that it paid off - that my work payed off."
"How many exams did you actually take?"
"I took 14 exams. I got 12 grade ones and 2 grade twos."
"I was once a CXC student as well, and taking independent exams is a difficult thing. How do you actually achieve spreading your time over all these other subjects?"
"The teachers were a big help because they were the people who were there after hours with us. Right now, I'm doing biology and chemistry. I want to go into DNA analysis in forensic science, and that's all I have planned for now. I'm just trying to take it one step at a time to get through 6th form first, and then hopefully to go abroad and study."
Dorien Villafranco - 1st Place, CAPE 2012
"I think it's all about preparation, you know. I think that you have to have a good work ethic, and a good preparation for the exams. I must say that my teachers prepared me well, and also a support group from all my family, friends, parents and others."
"What are your plans now?"
"I'm actually studying at Saint Luke's University right now, trying to get a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering. I should be graduating in 2015, so that's the plan for right now."
"Will you be coming back to Belize?"
"Hopefully, you know that our tourism industry is very dependent on the aviation industry, so hopefully, we can make some strides there, in terms of developing the aviation industry further here in Belize."
Juana Teresa Meza - 1st Place, CSEC 2012
"I have big dreams. I plan to graduate from Saint John's - hopefully - finish my bachelor's degree, and then go on to medical school, and hopefully after that, if I have the grades and the money and the grades, study to be a surgeon. It's a huge advancement for my family concerning my background. It's not the common middle class family, so they're really excited that somebody in the family gets to - I guess - to go higher in education."
It is important to note that Juana Mesa took 15 CXC's exams and achieved 13 Grade 1's and 2 Grade 3's. Dorien Villafranco, who was the top performer in the CXC's 2 years ago, was again the top performer in CAPE. He took 6 exams and achieved Grade 1's in all of them.