Gamer scores big in PEP; secures JN scholarship

TWELVE-YEAR-OLD J’den Clayton was very honest as he admitted that he has never really enjoyed studying.

“I find it boring, and I always think I could be using my time to do something more fun,” J’den said with a hint of humour.

He confessed that he could have studied harder for his Primary Exit Profile (PEP) exams, and perhaps even spent less time playing his favourite video game, Roblox.

But don’t let his love for playing video games or his indifference towards studying fool you. This graduate of Vaz Preparatory recently secured a 390.9 in his PEP exams which saw him being placed at his first school of choice, Campion College.

J’den earned the following grades in the PEP exam: mathematics – 365; language arts – 346; science – 365; and social studies – 350. To top it off, he’s been named the JN Foundation Scholar for Kingston, earning a five-year scholarship to secondary school.

A gamer at heart, J’den has been blessed with what some may regard as a photographic memory.

“I’ve just always had the ability to remember things; sometimes it’s like my brain takes a picture of the notes that I’ve read. Once I see it or write it down I’m able to picture it in my mind, so when I’m doing a test my brain brings back up the picture and I can remember the notes easily,” he explained.

This natural ability has helped him significantly throughout his studies and has seen him consistently being placed in the top four students in his class throughout prep school.

His mother, Jayann Clayton, said teachers have always commented on her son’s abilities.

“Even before prep school I remember his teachers would say to me, ‘There’s something special about J’den,’ because especially when it came to spelling words he’d just write the words off the board and he’d be able to remember how to spell them without much effort.”

Described as an introvert by his friends and family, J’den has never been one to crave the limelight.

His mother recalls that he was selected to train for Vaz Prep’s Junior Schools’ Challenge Quiz team from as early as grade three but was quite reluctant to join.

“He went to the training by force and in tears. When he got to grade six he told me, ‘Mom, if you force me to do this I will go on TV and not answer one question.’ So, to save myself and him the embarrassment I complied with his wishes,” admitted Clayton.

“That same year he was nominated for head boy. He ran a great campaign but was quite elated when he didn’t win.”

Now that J’den, who was among Vaz Prep’s top achievers for 2022, is in high school, he admitted that he’ll have to study much harder.

“Now I have to balance my schoolwork with my extra-curricular activities, such as chess club and tennis, but I’m up for the challenge,” he said.

With dreams of becoming a medical doctor, J’den hopes to one day help save lives and impact his nation. He noted that his mother is his biggest motivator and the one person who keeps him grounded.

“Not only because when she tells me to do something, I have to do it,” he said with a chuckle, “but because I want to make her proud,” he confessed.

For Clayton, her vision is that her son will always strive to do his best. “His best is all I care about. Whatever he chooses to pursue in life, I will always be there to support him. I’m not one of those parents who will try to force my child into a certain direction. All I care about is that he continues to do his best,” she declared.

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