Young maths whiz wants to be an actuary
He’s only 14 years old, but Clevon Cunningham Jr is already on his way to becoming a maths whiz.
Last year while attending Sandys Secondary Middle School he was one of 16 students to tackle the GCSE in maths and one of only two to score an A on the exam.
This summer, while other youngsters were playing sports or hanging out with friends, he was taking extra maths classes.
And according to his parents Vilma and Clevon Sr, he’s been caught on more than one occasion up as late as midnight, still trying to solve new equations.
“Now that he’s started at Berkeley [Institute] if he doesn’t have homework he does math on his own. He gets on the internet and does his research for different math problems,” Mrs Cunningham said.
Clevon said he puts in extra time and effort with maths in the hopes of becoming an actuary one day. “I’m aspiring to be an actuary because it has a lot to do with math and it also makes good money.”
Last month the teenager spent half a day shadowing employees in the human resources and actuary departments of accounting firm Deloitte.
“It was fun because I learnt a lot of stuff in particular about [the profession], not just what you read online. I learnt what I need to focus on to become an actuary and how long it takes,” he said.
In addition to thriving with numbers, he has also won a handful of awards for his positive attitude, overall academic achievement and attendance.
In 2008, he was named a ‘student of excellence’ by the Ministry of Education. Last year he was awarded a Young Citizens Award by the Ministry of Youth, Family and Sport.
Before leaving Sandys Secondary Middle School, Clevon was also handed six awards, including one for making the Principal’s Honours List three years in a row.
He also plays the viola; is a Junior Leader in the children’s ministry in the Seventh-day Adventist Church; and takes part in Path Finders, a programme similar to the boy scouts.
Now an S1 student at Berkeley, Clevon has his eye even more focused on the prize.
And he encourages other young people to put time into their studies as well.
“It’s not like you can only study a day before the test you have to study all week. Time is key.
“You also need to have a motive or a goal in mind that you want to achieve.
“My goal is to become successful in life. I wouldn’t say success is just having a lot of money. It’s more like becoming a well-rounded individual.”
He credits his parents who taught him “how to be a no-nonsense child”, God, and his middle school maths teacher Leyde St Leger for his success.
Clevon encourages young people to reach for the stars in whatever career path they choose.
“Always believe in yourself because you never know what you can achieve until you try,” he stated.
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