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Anna Albury of Hopetown
Anna is the daughter of Theresa and Lambert Albury of Froggie's Dive Shop in Hopetown. Congratulation's Anna!
May 23rd, 2011
Blind Girl Defies Odds
BY ANDREW J.W. KNOWLES
A blind 12-year-old girl defied the odds and beat out 115 of the best and brightest minds from throughout the country to win the prestigious Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year award on Saturday evening.
Anna Albury of the Hope Town Primary School in Abaco became the first blind student in the award’s 15-year history to win the top award that carried with it a $6,000 scholarship sponsored by Bahamas Office and School Supplies (BOSS) and a new lap top computer.
Hundreds of proud parents, family members and friends flooded the Golden Gates Assembly Auditorium to witness the students being one by one called to receive their awards from former Governor General and Co-Patron Dame Ivy Dumont and Minister of Education Desmond Bannister.
When Anna was first introduced, she captured the hearts of the packed house upon noticing her visual impairment.
As they announced and awarded the 24 semi-finalists and then the 24 finalists, Anna said she "felt great but kind of tense because I didn’t know when my name was going to be called."
Then the highly anticipated moment came that everyone awaited – the announcement of the winner.
As head of the distinguished judging panel, Jacqueline Bethel read the bio of the winner it appeared as though another student had won because given Anna’s disability many figured it could not have been her.
"When she was eight-years-old, she competed for the first time in the annual Inter-School Swimming Competition," Mrs. Bethel read.
"When she stepped to the edge of the pool, many whispered ‘that’s the blind girl! They are letting the blind girl swim!"
At that point, the room erupted into a huge applause and everyone stood to their feet in amazement, some even in tears at the story of the young girl, who is determined to beat the odds.
"It’s a fantastic feeling, I’m very excited," said the jovial 6th grader at her school, who maintains an accumulative grade point average of 3.80 and serves as head girl.
Additionally Anna plays the piano, sings in the church, dances and assists by visiting the elderly in the community.
Anna was second runner-up in the Abaco District Spelling Bee competition, second place in the Rotary Club of Abaco Speech Competition and top academic achiever in grades four, five and six.
"I like different activities, I like to be around people and I like to walk and swim," she said.
The fact that Anna is blind, encouraged by her parents and school officials to be adamant that she be main-streamed and not sent to the School for the Blind.
"Anna loves school and she loves people," her mother, Theresa Albury said.
"I think in the future she will do something with people. She loves computers and despite her being blind that does not keep her behind from doing anything she wants to do."
Candace Key, Principal at the Hope Town Primary School described Anna as "a gifted young lady who has gained the respect of her classmates early on by demonstrating her disciplined manner during school and her pleasant demeanor on campus in student activities and relationships."
Kyla Higgs of Harbour Island All Age School was first runner up and received a $5,000 scholarship sponsored by The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC).
Ashleigh Bernon of Bishop Michael Eldon Primary School, Cameron Knowles of Queen’s College and Ivoine Ingraham of St. Cecilia’s Primary School rounded out the top five and all received $3,000 scholarships.
Over $80,000 in scholarships and $15,000 in prizes were awarded on Saturday evening.
Since the inception of the awards programme in 1997, 1,189 students have been recognised as the "Who’s Who in Primary Schools in The Bahamas" and over half a million dollars awarded in scholarships and prizes.
You can shake the sand from your shoes but it never leaves your soul!
Last edited by patw; 05-28-2011 at 12:21 AM.
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