Jonnell Ferguson is a cheerful and energetic 12-year-old who is passionate about many things including his dream to be come a cadet.
“I am a cadet recruit at St Augustine Secondary, Seventh Battalion. I’ll be doing the exam to become a cadet when school reopens,” Jonnell shared with Newsday Kids at his home in El Socorro.
He enjoys marching, halting and saluting and sees himself moving up the ranks in cadets. He doesn't have the green cadet uniform yet, as recruits go through training in white shirts and black trousers.
Jonnell also likes playing cricket, football and swimming. He began attending swimming sessions in January at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya, on Thursday afternoons. “I have a good time learning how to swim properly and what to do in case of an emergency in the water.”
He plays cricket and football at St Augustine Secondary School mostly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. He even goes to the Aranguez Savannah to get in some extra football practice on weekends.
This form one student is enthusiastic about sports while maintaining grade As in his subjects.
“My favourite subjects are social studies, English, information technology, mathematics and Spanish. I enjoy Spanish the most because it’s fun; I get to learn difficult words and pronounce them better when I practice.”
Jonnell’s most recent accomplishment is earning his green belt in karate at Kishi Karate, San Juan.
“I enjoyed doing karate; it has taught me a lot about discipline.” However, he has his mind set on becoming even more developed through cadets.
“Becoming a military officer may be a part of my future but I want to become an electronic technician because I like taking apart things, seeing how they work and putting them back together.”
He is also training to become an altar server at St John the Baptist RC Church, San Juan.
How does he balance homework with so many extra-curricular activities?
“It’s a bit challenging but with the help of my mother I am able to manage my time. Step by step I work on maintaining my grades.”
Jonnell is encouraged to pursue his goals by his mother Betty Ferguson, Joseph David (father), aunts: Esla Forrester, Marilyn Ferguson and Merlyn St Bernard along with his friends and teachers.
He advises children to “focus on what’s most important, which is getting an education. It is always good to be balanced.”