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Monifa wins ten awards

By RALPH BANWARIE Thursday, July 4 2013

click on pic to zoom in
Monifa Armstrong...
Monifa Armstrong...

MONIFA ARMSTRONG is truly an inspiration. The 16-year-old who suffers from Scoliosis (a medical condition in which a person’s spine is curved from side to side and nerve damage) copped a total of ten awards for academic excellence during a graduation ceremony at the SWAHA Hindu College in Sangre Grande.

The Form 5 student received awards for earning distinctions in English A, Spanish, Chemistry, Biology, Information Technology, Visual Arts, Cultural Activities, School Life and Physical Education. She also received the award for the college’s Most Outstanding Student.

In delivering the valedictory speech at the graduation ceremony held at the school’s auditorium, Monifa advised her schoolmates to “never ever give up”.

“You just have to keep on trying. The last effort...the last try may be the one when you achieve success,” she told the graduates. Armstrong said, what makes someone a success is not necessarily trying hard but being determined even in the face of difficulties.

She cited as an example, the great American inventor Thomas Edison, who after 1,000 failed attempts, finally succeeded in inventing the light bulb.

“He was a success because he never gave up. He could have easily said I am tired and will never succeed. He kept on trying and eventually succeeded.” Monifa added that one has to take life as it comes.

“There will be difficult times. Times when we feel to give up. Times when we ask ourselves ‘why me God, why me?’ Times where even when we try our best but fail. These are challenges placed to test you, to see how strong an individual you are,” Monifa said.

The well-spoken student also reminded her fellow graduating students that no one knows what the future holds for them. “For sure not all of us will become lawyers, or doctors. Whatever field of work one finds themselves in, just remember that every endeavour is important in some way or the other.”

Monifa also paid special thanks to her classmates for being a wonderful, supportive group. “I could not ask for better friends,” she said. “Many of my friends knew of my condition and knew it was difficult at times to carry all of my books to and from school. They all assisted me,” she said.

She also extended her gratitude to principal Gyandeo Persad and her teachers for their patience and guidance in making her the success that she is today. “A special thanks to you Miss Ambika for listening to me every time I had a problem and for trying so hard to make sure that I was ok. You were like a mother to me,” Monifa said as she became a bit emotional.

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