March 21, 2023

Deaf Student Preparing for Exam Gets Welcome Surprise

A donation by Adventist Possibility Ministries in Jamaica highlights commitment to help.

Nigel Coke, and Inter-American Division News
Adrian Cotterell (right), possibility ministries coordinator of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica, presents a laptop computer to 18-year-old Emily Johnson, a student of the Lister Mair Gilby High School for the Deaf. [Photo: Nigel Coke]

As the time draws near for students who will sit this year’s Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) exams, one member of the Jamaica’s deaf community was overwhelmed with joy by the support she received for her preparation.

On March 9, eighteen-year-old Emily Johnson, a student of the Lister Mair Gilby High School for the Deaf, received a much-needed laptop to help with her School Base Assessment and studies.

The laptop was given to her at an Assistive Technology and Mental Health Symposium held at the Mandeville Seventh-day Adventist Church in Manchester. It formed part of an annual Possibility Ministries Awareness week organized by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica under the theme “Reflecting the Beauty of Jesus.”

“I feel excited,” Johnson said through interpreter Lyvene McLeish. “I always wanted one and didn’t know how I would get it. There are exams to be done, and it’s very hard for me because my school doesn’t have a computer to facilitate it, and my father, who doesn’t have a consistent job, cannot afford it. I am so grateful for this, and I thank God.”

Johnson will be tested on five subjects: mathematics, English language, information technology, human and social biology, and principles of accounting. Last year, she achieved success in English language and mathematics at level 3 in the city and guild.

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Lyneve McLeish (left) and Emily Johnson. [Photo by Nigel Coke]

McLeish, who is a retired family social worker for the Jamaica Association for the Deaf and has worked with Johnson for some time, described her as a smart and knowledgeable person who reads a lot.

As an elder of the Portmore Seventh-day Adventist Deaf Church, of which Johnson is a baptized member since April 2021, McLeish said “she [Johnson] is highly intelligent and willing to share and does sign language very well. She reads a lot and participates in the activities of the church; she’s rarely absent. She is also very involved in sports at school and can run very fast.”

Regina Johnson, vice principal of the Lister Mair Gilby High School for the Deaf, described the 18-year-old as “a good student who complies with all the policies of the school. She is very obedient and consistent with her schoolwork.”

According to the Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD), more than 30,000 people in Jamaica are either deaf or  hearing impaired.

The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-American Division news site.