Blind teen overwhelmed by her sudden ‘fame’
By Richardson Dhalai Saturday, August 23 2014
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A proud mom Allyson Rebeiro and daughter Shamika Henry at their home in San Fernando yesterday. ...
THE teenager who lost her sight due to glaucoma but who through persistence and hard work gained passes in seven CSEC subjects in the 2014 examinations has described her sudden popularity, and her visit to President’s House, as “overwhelming”. She said her cellphone rang constantly since her achievements were made public.
Shamika Henry, 18, who is legally blind, secured “ones” in mathematics, English language and English literature, and “twos” in Spanish, music, principles of business and theatre arts.
Her mathematics achievement was all the more remarkable as she had registered low grades throughout Form IV. However, through the use of a modified computer programme designed especially for the visually impaired, she was able to turn around her grades.
In an interview at her San Fernando Street, San Fernando, home yesterday, a blushing Henry, who was accepted to begin her Advanced Level studies at Holy Faith Convent, Couva, where she will study English literature, Spanish and sociology, said she was “feeling real special” with the sudden attention.
“I was really taken aback when the President’s office called and said he wanted to meet me,” Henry said, her eyes lighting up as she spoke. Henry, together with her mother Allyson Rebeiro and software developer Raj Ramdass, met with President Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona at President’s House on August 18. “He was real nice and he congratulated me on my success,” she said, adding that he seemed to be “very compassionate and caring” about people with disabilities.
She said they spent almost three hours at President’s House and spoke about a number of topics.
Her mother, who sat beaming during the interview, said the President also invited the family to attend the Independence Award celebrations.
Meanwhile, Henry is “extremely excited” about the space camp she is due to attend in Alabama, USA, from September 18 to 25.
“It is quite delirious because I am also into science so it will be exciting to be in a real rocket,” she said, adding that it was “quite an honour” to have been selected to attend the space camp.
And regarding her A-Level studies, she said her desire was to major in literature and once again expressed optimism that young people with disabilities would be encouraged by her success and not limit themselves or their abilities.