Gingerland, Nevis: Ms. Lauren Rivers certainly had the students and staff of the Gingerland Secondary school, transfixed and attentive, as she told a part of her academic life story, as she related her struggles to stardom.
Her story exemplifies the motto of her former Secondary school, The Gingerland Secondary School —‘through difficulties to the stars.’
It was Monday 8th September and Ms. Rivers had visited her former high school, bearing gifts.
Due to her love for languages, she has established what is now known as the RIVERS’ FOUNDATION and came to hand out scholarships to three children, who had impressed during a required essay writing contest.
Those three children, who were accompanied by their proud parents, were: Hujey Jeffers, Alexa Liburd Walwyn, and Jermaine Manners. A special prize was also given to Alexandria Weekes, who although she did not qualify as a winner, really impressed Ms. Rivers with her essay.
Ms. Rivers, who repeated 5th form, due to the fact that she did not originally have enough subjects to make it to 6th form, eventually went to work at Montpelier Hotel, refusing to go to 6th form, when she was finally qualified to do so.
Her language passes in French and Spanish, held her in good stead at the hotel, then later at the Ministry of Tourism. She then got a request for her to teach the languages at her former secondary school, thus becoming the first person to teach languages in Nevis, without graduating from the sixth form.
She won an Organization of American States (OAS) scholarship, whilst competing with 35 countries and got one of the seven scholarships on offer that year.
She duly completed her first master’s degree at the George Washington University and second master’s degree at the John Hopkins University and currently works at the US Department of Homeland Security. She impressed on the children that she did not allow initial failures to stop her and told them that they can achieve as much or even more, but that it would take dedication and sacrifice.
The scholarship package for each child, included: A cheque for $800.00; mentoring moments, compliments of the foundation, with Ms. Debra Laluche, who will assist students with homework assignments and other language related issues; a bag pack with a $200.00 value of language related products, including books, a DVD player and DVD.
The school was not left out.
Ms. Rivers further announced that her foundation has made provisions for the Gingerland Secondary School’s language teachers and students, to have a one-year free access to LINGUIST SCOPE, which is a language platform that offers interactive assignments and activities for langue students.
Education officer, Mrs. Terez Dore, warmly thanked Ms. Rivers for the significant contributions towards the education of the children at the school and challenged the students to make the best of the opportunity that had been made possible for them to excel. She also challenged other would-be donors to come on board and contribute in a similar fashion.
Headmistress at the school, Mrs. Lineth Williams, also thanked Ms. Rivers for the tremendous contribution and wished her every success in her future endeavours.
Footnote: Lauren Rivers originates from the village of Cox and was formerly known as Lauren Griffin, before she had a legal name change