The Mount Alvernia High School standout hails from the quaint community of Bethel Town in the parish of Westmoreland, but enjoyed the city life of Montego Bay, where she went to school. Abigail fondly recalls what she terms as the “country life” where she gleefully rode bicycles with her younger sister and cousin and climbed trees, much like an average Jamaican growing up in the countryside.
But Abigail’s life is anything but average. The passionate dancer and volunteer demonstrated from an early age great aptitude and an unparalleled, undying lust for success and as she aptly puts it, “nothing less than excellence” – her personal motto. The 21-year-old University of the West Indies, Mona student has an enviable and impressive track record in academia and co-curricular school life; anything she touches is sure to turn into gold. Daughter of Midas, perhaps?
Mount Alvernia had no idea what was about to hit them! Modestly put, Abigail has had a very rewarding school experience. She was awarded 12 out of 14 subject trophies by the end of grade 7, 11 out of 13 in grade 8, 11 out of 13 in grade 9 and in grade 10, she copped 6 out of a possible 8. As if that weren’t enough, throughout her tenure at the St. James based all girls’ school, she slowly and deservingly rose to popularity as she transitioned between being a Peer Counsellor, Form Monitor, Sub-Prefect and ultimately propelled her to the pinnacle of school fame to be knighted as Head Girl for the 2010/2011 academic year. Still unsatisfied, Abigail Allen made her presence known in the representational realm after becoming Junior Councillor for the Montego Bay Central Division of St. James and Public Relations Officer for the Junior Council in the same year.
Abigail notes that her most severe challenge in high school was not that of time management, but rather the inability of others to recognize her unassailable self-worth, which was erroneously and mistakenly construed to be one of self-superiority. It was at that time that Abigail came to the realization that “leadership is often a lonely and thankless job”. She however emphasizes that one must remain motivated and committed to the cause.
Abi ‘GAIL’ Force Winds
The aftermath of Abigail Allen’s academic rampage laid an array of distinctions, accolades, awards, honourable mentions and sheer transcendence. Mount Alvernia High School had felt the full brunt of Abigail’s strong winds and the full effect were clearly visible at the young whiz kid’s graduation ceremony where she bagged a whopping total of fifteen (15) trophies and prizes, including the Valedictorian Award, Most Outstanding Student Award, Kurian Cherian Award for Excellence, 6 subject prizes, Head Girl Award, a special award for Academic Excellence for achieving an average of over 90% for all five years, among others.
The proud Christian credits her success to her unwavering devotion to Christ and her firm belief that “God created and knows all things and so to find the purpose of a thing, He should be consulted. Therefore, I seek to live my life as He directs because only then will I fulfill my true purpose.” Abigail’s prayers for guidance and smooth sailing clearly haven’t fallen on deaf ears with ten (10) straight ‘A’ CSEC profiles to show for it, along with placing third (3rd) in Jamaica and seventh (7th) in the Caribbean for her performance in English A, as well as fifth (5th) in Jamaica in both Geography and Biology. She is also the proud recipient of the Jamaica Association of Principals of Secondary Schools (JAPSS) Top Performers Award for CSEC 2011. To add to her ever-growing list of stellar accomplishments, Abigail also topped a long list of regional academic stalwarts to arrest the regionally acclaimed and equally coveted University Open Scholarship offered by the University of the West Indies.
So you thought she was finished? Guess again. Like icing atop the proverbial cake, Abigail, not surprisingly, is the 2015 nominee and awardee of the prestigious Prime Minister’s Youth Award for Excellence in Academics. The humble soul expressed gratitude that her “nothing less than excellence” attitude and equally impressive performance was able to be recognized on such an established platform. Despite all the craze over her abilities and all that she has accomplished, Abigail’s proudest moment is when she was invited to give an inspirational talk at her alma mater, after which, according to Abigail, “a student excitedly ran up to me and expressed how much she looked up to me and that I was her role model.” Abigail aptly described the moment as an immensely heartwarming one.
With such an impeccable testimony of aptitude, Abigail decided to shun the prospects of sitting the SAT exam and studying abroad because of her confidence in the Jamaican education system and her belief that international studies are not always the most ideal alternatives. Abigail is now a third year Medical Sciences student at the University of the West Indies, Mona and a resident of the Rex Nettleford Hall where she is comfortably adjusting to university life. This is what she has to say to fellow Jamaicans who are in pursuit of their dreams:
“I would encourage every Jamaican youth to lift up their head and persevere in spite of the seemingly impossible realization of their dreams because the truth is, they only “seem” impossible. Everyone was made for a purpose and given the gifts and skills to fulfill that purpose. We simply need the guidance to make it a reality and that comes from our creator, Jesus Christ. He is faithful to complete every good work he has started in us and TRULY nothing is impossible with Him.”
Abigail Allen – a true icon among us.
Student | The University of the West Indies, Mona