Categorized | National News

Two Students Receive All Bahamas Merit Award

For the first time, the All Bahamas Merit scholars recognized two students at the scholarship’s 25th awards ceremony at Government House on last Thursday.

Mahlia Neely, a graduate of Queen’s College High School, and Dehron Smith, a graduate of Nassau Christian Academy, were awarded $140,000 to attend college abroad. 

Neely and Smith expressed happiness for the reward of their hard work.

“I feel overjoyed. I am ecstatic right now. It’s been a wild ride to get to this point. I’m so grateful for the government and the ministry to bestow on me this prestigious award,” Neely said.

“It’s so many feelings combined into one. It’s one of thankfulness. One of disbelief and one of excitement,” Smith admitted.

“When it’s something that’s just built into you, you have a self-motivation for success.  You don’t really feel the work, but it’s really nice to enjoy the success of it,” Smith said. 

Karina and Tyrone Neely, Mahlia’s parents, praised their daughter for receiving one of the highest honours in the country.

“Mahlia’s work ethics are really phenomenal. She prioritizes. She puts first things first and we’re amazed at that ability at this age,” Mrs. Neely said.

“We’ve seen her dedicate, commit, spend the time and it’s really an encouragement to us even as older folks. What she has achieved is not luck or some mere success that’s been put upon her. It’s because of planned and deliberate effort. So we’re motivated by that. ”   

Her daughter will be attending Vassar College, majoring in English, while Smith will be studying Athletic Training at Ithaca College. 

Mahlia attained 11 A’s in the BGCSE examinations and six subject awards, which is unprecedented. 

One of the honorees, Madison Symonette of Lakeview Classical Academy, was the first homeschooled student to have been awarded the National Merit Scholarship, the second-highest level of scholarship awarded by The Bahamas government. 

She was among 16 others awarded at the ceremony which was presented by the governor general. 

Luke Carey from St. Andrew’s International School was the runner-up for the All-Merit scholar. He will be attending Emory University and majoring in history. After university, he plans to return to The Bahamas.

“I want to be prime minister because I’ve always been passionate about our country, about our education specifically and I just feel like as we continue to move forward, we need to tap into that potential of country which was represented by the scholars we had here tonight. We have so much to be grateful for. So much to be proud as a nation.”

Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd said the students are an example of what Bahamian education has been able to produce.   

“It is because of the money, $35,000 a year, $140,000 across the four years, that is nothing to

sneeze about. We are proud to be able to award these magnificent young people this privileged

award here in The Bahamas,” Lloyd said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook