Hard work and confidence pay off big for 12-year-old Kinya Williams

“I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength,” is the mantra of 12-year-old Kinya Williams, which were the words that kept her going during the arduous task of preparing for the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) earlier this year.

Kinya explained that the Bible verse found in Philippians 4:13 provides her with comfort and reassurance and gives her the confidence she needs to succeed in all spheres of her life.

“It’s a source of encouragement for me and it reminds me that whenever I’m faced with a challenging situation that God is always there to help me,” said the Stella Maris Preparatory graduate.

It’s safe to say that her confidence in God and self has not disappointed, and has brought her much success.

She earned an overall score of 392.7 in the exams, securing her a coveted place at Campion College in St Andrew and the accolade of being the JN Foundation scholar for St Andrew, which has provided her with a five-year scholarship.

Kinya earned the following scores in PEP: mathematics – 365; language arts – 346; science – 352; and social studies – 355.

Apart from her stellar performance in PEP, Kinya also finished first in her class as well as received the first-place award for all subject areas, including her beloved mathematics.

The St Andrew native, who has her sights set on the University of Oxford in England or an Ivy League school in the United States, hopes to pursue a career in science and technology in the future. Although she has not yet decided on her area of concentration the budding scientist is bent on making inroads in the field.

She’s what many would describe as well-rounded, with achievements not only in her academic pursuits but also in several extra-curricular activities including swimming, dancing, karate, and cheerleading.

Since attending Campion, Kinya has joined the school’s swim and dance clubs and has also swam with the Blue Seals and Makoz Aquatic Racers swim clubs.

With a mature sense of self and a clear understanding of her responsibilities, the articulate and ardent student explained that she was able to balance her activities because she has learned to manage her time well.

“I’ve been involved in many of these activities from a young age, so I’ve become very used to it. But I also try to get my school and homework out of the way and then concentrate on my extra-curricular activities afterwards,” she said.

Her performance in PEP and her outstanding academic accomplishments throughout the years come as no surprise to her teachers and, of course, her parents, Nadine and Stephen Williams.

“Kinya is self-driven and takes pride in her general academics. I don’t have to say, ‘Go take your book.’ She gets going once she has something to do. She knows what she wants and she goes after it,” said her mother.

But what makes her so disciplined and self-motivated? The 12-year-old explained that it comes from the example set by her parents.

“They are my greatest motivation,” she admitted. “From a young age I’ve seen them working hard. Even when they come home from work, they’re still working. You always see them on their computers doing additional work or completing a task. They never leave anything unfinished. They are hard workers, and I believe I’m a hard worker too,” she stated.

And to the students who will be sitting PEP next year, Kinya has a few words of advice.

“Have confidence in yourself and trust God. Believe that you’re going to do well. Practise a lot. And if you don’t understand something, ask questions. The teachers are there to guide and help you,” she said.

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