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Thursday 18 January 2018
Features

Elliana’s Light: Young artist practises karate, wants to be a vet

Artist and her tools: Ellania Morris has favourite markers and pencils for her creative pieces. Photos by Elizabeth Bissessar

TENISHA SYLVESTER

Ellaina Clarissa Hannah Morris’ name biblically translates to “God has answered my prayer.” Indeed she is a blessing.

Born on November 26, 2005 as a seven months premature baby, Ellaina has grown into a gifted child, with a passion for art and animals.

“Growing up in Carapichaima, Freeport I always spend time by my grandfather as he has a lot of cats, goats, pigs and rabbits. I love helping him feed and take care of them, especially the cats,” said 12-year-old Ellaina, with a loving smile.

Her favourite book is Big Book of Animals by Sheila Hanly.

Ellaina’s passion for animals began at the age of two, when she would watch Sesame Street and at that tender age she decided she wanted to become a veterinarian.

Ellaina Morris works on one of her drawings.

She attends St Augustine Secondary School where she is at the top of her form one class and finds time to compete in art competitions. The first one she participated in was the Judiciary’s 50th Anniversary Art/ Poster Competition 2014 where she placed first with her collage.

“I felt overwhelmed with joy because I was not expecting to win.”

Ellaina was attending Chandernagore Presbyterian Primary School at the time. Some of her accomplishments include coming fourth in the Mediation Board’s annual art competition in 2014 and Toyota’s first dream car art competition 2015 where she placed third.

Ellaina Morris' winning poster on child labour in a recent Ministry of Labour competition.

Ellaina also placed first in the 2016 Florida Caribbean Cruise Association Foundation Children’s Environmental Poster Competition which was launched with the Tobago House of Assembly. She recently came first in the eight-twelve age category of the Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development’s 2017 Child Labour Art Competition, under the theme Spot Child Labour, Stop Child Labour. “I like art because I have fun creating different pieces and I like art competitions because I enjoy doing the research with my mom guiding me and the preparation that goes into making an art piece to submit.

“I draw every day. Sometimes I draw about what happened during the day or how I feel; if I am angry, sad or happy, I put it into my drawings.” Ellaina also enjoys singing, baking, researching new things on the computer, playing computer games, karate and riding her bicycle. “I like singing upbeat songs and gospel songs.” Her favourite computer games are Dragon Mania Legends because the game’s objective is to feed and pet the dragons. She also plays Hangaroo because it is interesting and she always learns something new.

“I love baking because I get to help my mom make sponge cake, carrot cake and ones from scratch. I am looking forward to helping her make pastel and bread for Christmas.”

A heartfelt drawing by Elliana Morris as a gift to her mother.

What are her goals?

“I still want to become a vet so that I can help save stray and abused animals.”

She is also in the process of starting the Care for Animals and the Environment Club in St Augustine Secondary, which is about protecting animals and the environment. “The motto is: help save the environment because it’s your home too.”

She explained the environment does not only include the grass and trees but it also comprises animals and preventing cruelty against them.

“So far we have not started raising funds yet but I have gathered around 30 students willing to join the club. I told my form teacher and the dean, they both think that it is a great idea and they support me as well.”

Ellaina is encouraged to pursue her dreams by her mother Marissa Edwards, father Clyde Morris, her aunts Crystal, Elizabeth, Joanna and Lisa Edwards along with her grandfathers, Dodridge Edwards and Ben Vincent. Her three-year-old brother Zuriel also admires her.

“I like to make my family happy.” She enjoys doing all the subjects she is taught in school and even goes further to do online Spanish courses. “I also won a hamper from pennacool.com for doing the most online preparatory activities.”

Ellaina Morris sports medals won in karate competitions.

How does she manage her time with homework, art and animals?

“When I get home I do all my homework first and then I relax while I draw.”

Her advice to children is to “follow your dreams, do what you are passionate about to the best of your abilities, work hard towards your future job and stay focused.”

Ellaina recently started karate classes at SKIF La Joya Karate Dojo and will be doing her yellow-bar belt level examinations soon.

 

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