The daughter of the sole survivor of the Paria diving tragedy was rewarded for her achievements in the Secondary Entrance Examination on Saturday.
She beamed with pride after the ceremony at the Susamachar Presbyterian Church saying she was happy to make her father proud.
Christopher Boodram emerged as the lone survivor of the Paria diving tragedy which claimed the lives of his four collegues in an undersea tragedy in February 2022.
Chloe was one of six children selected for special awards by the Presbyterian Primary School Board of Education for excelling in the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examination in the face of adversity.
In an interview following the ceremony, Chloe said the journey from February 25, 2022 to SEA a few months later, “was hard and stressful. But I made it.”
She said the love for her father and the desire to see him happy again, was what kept her focused.
“I know my father would be proud to see me pass for my first choice. I wanted to make him happy.”
Asked if she achieved that goal, she smiling replied, “Yes. He was proud. He was happy.”
She said he was delighted by her receipt of the special award for students overcoming challenges to excel. Chloe said she too was happy and proud that her hard work was recognised.
“I want to be a doctor or a therapist,” she said.
In the past 19 months, relatives of the survivors and those who lost their lives would have been exposed to counselling and therapists sessions.
Chloe said she was impressed by one of the therapists who seemed to be so motivated.
“I want to be motivated as well.”
Asked if her dad’s situation has motivated her career goal, she shyly replied, “Yes.”
Chloe’s mom, Candy Stoute-Brown, who accompanied her on Saturday, said her daughter’s recognition is the one bright spark that has illuminated their life over the past year.
She said the journey has not been easy as her husband is now a shell of the man he used to be.
“He has his days. Some days are really easier than before, but it is still challenging. He is an emotional roller coaster. We are just taking it day by day.”
She said he has not sought re-employment as a deep sea diver because of the trauma and does not yet have the strength to venture out into another career path.
“Right now, he is home frustrated. Doing nothing really, just helping around in the house.”
Candy’s salary as a nurse maintains the family. She said like the other familes they are waiting on the outcome of the final report into the Commission of Enquiry into the tragedy, which has now been pushed to November 30.
She said they are patiently awaiting the final report as she is hoping it would give her husband the closure he so badly desires.
“We have no choice but to wait. I wish we could have gotten a conclusion and a recommendation sooner, but I guess this is God’s way of telling us to have patience.”
The happiest she has seen him was when Chloe passed for her first choice, Miracle Ministries Pentecostal Secondary School, and was selected for the special award.
“He was joyful to know she passed for her first choice. That she put her best foot forward and she did well.”
The board awarded the top performing students from its 72 primary schools.
Principal of Curepe Presbyterian Brenda Motilal received the award for the best performing Presbyterian primary school from former Couva Chamber President Liaquat Ali.
The top three performing students also received special cash prices and trophies. They are Ruthvika Kumar, who attended Curepe Presbyterian. She received a cash award of $4,000, plus a trophy. Sophia Harnarayan of Canaan Presbyterian received $2,500 in cash, plus a trophy, while Aiden Roberts, of Warrenville, received $1,500 plus a trophy.
Chairman of the Presbyterian Board of Education Vickram Ramlal in presenting the list of awardees reminded the audience that Chloe’s dad was the lone survivor of the Paria tragedy and how the trauma of that ordeal affected her in the year when she was preparing to write SEA.
He said one of the other students who fell in this special awards category, lost her mother a few weeks before the exam. Another lost three members of his family to covid19 and he had to relocate both home and school. Yet he passed for his first choice. Others faced economic challenges, mental illness and also excelled.
Ramlal said one of the goals of Presbyterian moderator Rev Daniel Chance is to work with children who are excelling in spite of the challenges.