Naparima cops President’s Gold
By VASHTEE ACHIBAR Saturday, September 22 2012
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WINNER: President's Gold medal winner Naparima Boys College student, Marcus Belasco, 18, gives the 'thumbs up' sign over his success. ...
President’s Medal (Gold), winner in Natural Sciences, Marcus Belasco, hopes to one day discover a cure for cancer, the disease which claimed the life of his maternal grandmother several years ago.
Belasco, 18, who is currently employed as a teaching assistant at his alma mater, Naparima College, admitted that he was “shocked” by the announcement. He said he had never aimed for a scholarship, but had always endeavoured to “master” his subjects.
The soft-spoken teenager, has participated in a number of extra-curricular activities at his school, including president of the school’s debating team. He was also president of the Interact club, which recently embarked on the delivery of hot meals to the homeless in the city of San Fernando.
“I am hoping to leave for England in a year’s time to study Medicine, either in England, or Ireland.” Adding, “I hope to contribute to the development of Trinidad and Tobago.”
Marcus is hoping to one day find a cure for cancer, and is also intent on studying the human brain.
“I hope to study medicine; I haven’t decided as yet on what field, but I am interested in neurosurgery. I believe the brain is one of the most fascinating organs, because it is marvelous how consciousness can arise from it,” he said.
News of his outstanding performance caught his parents Patricia and Franklyn Belasco by surprise. At their Palmiste home on Thursday, Patricia, a Chartered Accountant, told Newsday she was at work among her co-workers when her phone rang with the news, “I began to scream, I ran upstairs to another office, my co-workers followed asking what was wrong, I was almost breathless, they began to fan me and then I told them, I was overjoyed. I told them I am cancelling all meetings for the day, and headed home to see my son.”
“I am surprised, but not surprised, you see Marcus has always been an exceptional performer, but we never talked about him winning a scholarship. I just told him to do his best,” the beaming mother said.
“Our mantra in this house is that each generation must do better than the one before, and that a good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children, but the greatest inheritance you can give your children is education,” she added.
Franklyn, like his wife began to scream as well, when he got the news. In his haste to rush home, (he was in Preysal) he got into his vehicle and was in the process of putting on his seatbelt while driving when a police officer motioned him over, and despite his explanation that his son won the president’s gold medal and he wanted to rush home to see him, the officer was not amused and gave him a ticket. “It’s a blessing, I just want to thank God,” the overjoyed father said.
And with everyone around him in uproar, Marcus a quiet soft spoken teen, was taking it all in stride. He said his principal gave him the news at about 1.30 pm on Thursday. “No I didn’t scream, or jump, I was just happy,” he said. “I did not expect it. I did not expect it”, he repeated, “I worked towards gaining mastery in all my subjects, and whatever happened, happened,” he said, matter-of-factly.
His sister Amanda, a Form 5 student at St Joseph’s Convent in San Fernando, admitted she was not at all surprised by his success, as she knew he was capable of winning a scholarship.