All-round Guyanese student makes big difference

Jeremiah Agrippa at his home in Laurelton, Queens, before his elementary school graduation.
Shaundell Agrippa

In a society often permeated with negative influences and behavior, one elementary school student in Queens is already making a huge difference, as he makes his Guyanese-born parents and others very proud of his spectacular curricular and extra-curricular achievements.

Jeremiah Agrippa, 11, who resides in Laurelton, Queens with his parents, Maurice and Shaundell Agrippa, graduated, on June 24, from P.S. 38Q, known as the Rosedale School, in Rosedale, Queens, with extraordinary academic and non-academic accomplishments.

Jeremiah, who was born in East Flatbush, Brooklyn before his family moved to Queens, received a remarkable total of 12 certificates and awards, and excelled on the basketball court, the football field and in Ballroom Dancing, among other things.

Consequently, he left many — including his parents, teachers and peers — speechless with his indentation of all-round performance and versatility.

“I feel good to have accomplished 12 certificates in various subject areas,” the young student told Caribbean Life, in an exclusive interview, soon after graduation. “Math is my favorite subject. I enjoy solving fractions and helping my classmates when they needed my help.

“I also enjoyed reading books to the students in the lower grades,” he added. “I am happy that I graduated from the best school I have ever been to.”

Besides the Rosedale School diploma for successful completion of the prescribed curriculum, Jeremiah received the Art Award for “outstanding achievement in, sustained commitment to and community service through the Visual Arts” from the New York City Art Teachers Association / United Federation of Teachers (NYCATA/UFT).

He also received the New York State Assembly Certificate of Merit from Assembly Member Alicia H. Hyndman (29th Assembly District); the Citizenship Award from the Rosedale School in recognition for “outstanding citizenship of the 2015-2016 school year;” and Certificates of Achievements in Science, Social Studies and Reading.

In addition, Jeremiah was the recipient of Certificates of Improvement in Math and Writing.

He also received an Award Certificate from UFT for academic excellence and school service; Certificates of Recognition for outstanding effort and participation in the Arts from the Rosedale School; and the Triple E Award from the Rosedale School for “eager, efficient and effective citizenship for the 2015-2016 school year.”

Jeremiah, the captain of his team’s basketball team, singled out his basketball coach, Chad Jones, “for all he has done for me.

“Mr. Jones would often say to me, ‘leave everything on the basketball court and don’t worry about what the sideline says,’” he said.

“When it came to doing my school work, Mr. Jones would also say to me, ‘get your work done and you can accomplish anything in life,’” Jeremiah added. “Those words I will always remember throughout my career of becoming a basketball player, as I move on to pursue my educational goals.”

Besides basketball, Jeremiah represents the Springfield Rifles in football in the Junior Pee Wee Division as a wide receiver.

In the last school year, Jeremiah said he became interested in Ballroom Dancing, called “Dancing Classrooms.”

He said the Rosedale School competed against other area schools in Ballroom Dancing, capturing the gold medal in the first round of competition, enabling it to further compete in the semifinals, in which it earned the silver medal.

Reverting to the June 24 graduation ceremony, which comprised 42 students from the Class of 2016, Jeremiah described it as very successful.

“It’s a good accomplishment that I will carry throughout for the rest of my life,” he said. “I will never forget that day.

“At graduation, I felt proud that my mom and grandmother (Guyanese-born Paulette Hyman) were able to attend the ceremony,” he added. “It was good to see the transition of how I started and to finally graduate.

“I will miss my friends as we go our separate ways,” continued Jeremiah, who will start junior high school in the fall, as he lays the groundwork for further academic and non-academic successes. “School is fun, and I love learning.”

Mrs. Agrippa, owner of Nicky’s Little Sprouts, D.C., Inc., a daycare center in Queens, said she was very delighted but “humbled” about her son’s achievements.

“Jeremiah is an energetic and hard-working individual,” she told Caribbean Life. “He works very hard to achieve the end product of what he starts. He strives to achieve his goals, both academically and being the captain for his school’s basketball team. If it means he has to be up until midnight or even awaking at 5 am to complete an assignment, he does just that.

“Jeremiah’s enthusiasm and eagerness to learn will allow him to accomplish whatever he pursues in his future endeavors,” added Mrs. Agrippa, who, as a basketball player and track star in her native Guyana, also excelled in art, among other disciplines. She maintained her academic success by completing a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brooklyn College, City University of New York.

Like mother like son, Jeremiah is, unequivocally, already on the path of his parents’ success.

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