Game-loving Ajahni rises above bullying | Lead Stories – Jamaica Gleaner

For the three years that Ajahni Walton pursued courses for the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) at Barracks Road Primary School in Montego Bay, he was bullied, but thankfully not to the point of depression and failure.

On Tuesday, Ajahni was announced as the top-performing PEP student whose parents work with the Guardsman Group, with a final score of 336.

The announcement was made during the company’s annual Guardsman/Marksman PEP Scholarship Awards ceremony inside the Tree House at the Hope Zoo in St Andrew.

Ajahni told The Gleaner that he dealt with bullying by “just ignoring” his classmates.

“I just ignored them and just went on. They tried to bully me about things I did not do,” the 12-year-old student said.

The bullying, however, rested heavily on the mind of his mother, Janet Lewis, daily.

“It stress mi out. It stress mi out a lot, and sometimes I went to pick him up at school, and the kids run to the class door and said, ‘Ajahni mada! Ajahni mada! Teacher put him out of class because he was playing and throwing paper at the others and dem always have something to say bad about him, but I told him not to give up,” Lewis told The Gleaner.

She is now elated that against the odds, her son proved that he was not the mischiefmaker his former classmates made him out to be.

The St James resident said that her main challenge with Ajahni while pursuing PEP was that he committed most of his spare time to gaming.

Ajahni admitted to The Gleaner that he is fascinated with Roblox, the global virtual platform which brings people together through play. And when it came to balancing gaming and school assignments, more time was committed to his games.

“I would play after I did my work. I would spend around two hours studying and five hours gaming. Sometimes I studied on the weekends, even though my mother told me not to play games. I studied when I felt like it,” he said before smiling.

He believes his ability to master his subjects is a natural gift, and he prefers to spend his leisure time having fun with people with a similar mindset in the virtual space.

He is pleased with his placement at Cornwall College, given that it has been his “dream school since grade one”.

“I am glad I accomplished something very good in my life,” the youngster told The Gleaner.

Ajahni was among 25 students awarded by the Guardsman Group on Tuesday. Approximately $1 million was awarded in total to the scholars.

Vinay Walia, managing director at Guardsman, congratulated the students on their accomplishments.

Given that his son has started the three-stage PEP assessments in grade four, Walia said that he has come to realise that although the process is pressuring, it aims to make students think critically.

“You need to develop a vision, a thought process on what’s next. How are you going to build on this foundation and make yourself a successful person and make your family proud and make us proud of your achievements in the future?” Walia said.

“All I can tell you guys is, believe in yourselves. You are hardworking kids because that’s the reason you’re here. Believe in yourselves. Create a vision and then work towards it,” he said.

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