Written by Edith Wiggins | Published: August 11, 2021 at 8:00 am
Wednesday August 4, 2021 will forever be etched in the mind of 19 year old Brianna Johnson. As a ward of the state and a member of the Alta Vista Children’s Village which is operated by the Educational Foundation for Children’s Care (EFCCI), she made history by being the first from our Village to graduate from high school. She is strongly motivated to continue her striving for excellence; being the first in her family to attain a tertiary education. She seeks to make her impact in the field of Special Education as she is passionate about giving back to others and being an advocate for the vulnerable.
Brianna proudly took her final walk under the ‘Aqua Blue ‘ decorated tent to receive her Certificate of Completion. She is beaming with joy and holds the memory close to her heart as this is her first graduation experience. Even though the Covid imposed restrictions prevented her from getting the full experience of family and friends being physically present to support her, she is grateful that she made it 👍🏾.
We at the Village are very excited and proud to have been there for Brianna, and that we were able to give her the support and encouragement she needed at a critical point in her life. We continue to be grateful to all who have sacrificed and supported to make this report a reality.
My name is Briana Johnson, I am 19 years old and my hobbies are writing poems dancing and sewing. In the future if it is God’s will I would like to become a special education teacher. My choice of career was inspired by my childhood. Learning, has been one of my greatest challenges while growing up, because I never had the motivation I needed, and I never understood the importance of education. This caused me to fall back and fall short in a lot of areas, which also caused me to repeat grade levels. It has been a challenge but I had to remind myself daily that a great reward was waiting for me if I didn’t give up. Some mornings I woke up crying because I felt I couldn’t do it, so I had to keep “repeating pull through Briana pull through”.
I could not have done it alone. 2020 was the year I told myself that I just can’t do it. I was at the edge of giving up. I had no more dreams of becoming successful; I felt hopeless, but then the rainbow came after the storm. The Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) never gave up on me. My social worker, Mrs Brown Reid reminded me that they are here with me from the beginning and they will be here supporting me to the very end. The rainbow became even brighter when I was placed at the Alta Vista Children’s Village where the Foundation helped me. They gave me the motivation and support every step of my CXC journey. Of course it was hard fitting in and becoming accustomed to new people in such a short space of time, but it was nothing too hard; I just had to make the best of the opportunity that was given to me. I did and I am extremely grateful for all the persons that have been there supporting, encouraging and motivating me.
My message to anyone that maybe reading this is to be strong and remember these three things:
1. Believe that you have the ability to do it
2. Remind yourself daily that you deserve this and even more
3 If it gets rough along the way cry for a bit, but never stay down too long;
If you just didn’t make it up in time, it’s never too late to pray.
Do the best you can to give you that peace of mind and catch up on your goals.
Do this and that degree or career choice will be secured, just for you.
Edith Wiggan, Project Director/House Parent