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Jahiem Seaton at his home with his laptop on Picton Road, Laventille, yesterday.

When life gets challenging for 13-year-old Jahiem Seaton who sat the Secondary Entrance Assessment examination this year, he remembers some advice his father gave him.

“Never focus on the problem but focus on the solution.”

Those words are what the former Nelson Street Boys’ RC student used as motivation when connectivity at his Picton Road, Laventille home was poor during online SEA preparation classes earlier this year.

“Which part I live is located in some, might say a deep hole, so you know the internet connectivity wasn’t so strong and it wasn’t so frequently flowing so I had issues but I never let that stand in my way…I just placed my head in my studies and going with the grace of God and I was able to get it done,” Seaton said.

His grandmother Gloria Burke said he was bumped out of class many times and she had to explain to his teacher why.

She said she and his parents tried their best to ensure he had internet even as they faced financial hardships.

“It was really difficult at a time I couldn’t afford that bill…I cut off the other one and just using internet for him and the mother sacrifice and she bought the laptop,” Burke explained.

But their effort paid off because Seaton passed for his second choice, St Francis Boys’ College in Belmont.

He was taken by surprise even with his positive outlook on life.

“I fell to the ground in shock as I was so proud of my accomplishment, “he said.

He and his family thanked his teacher, Mr Phillip, for pushing him to do better. His mother Karen Williams said at the beginning of Standard Three he had trouble with reading and spelling but Mr Phillip had faith in her son.

“He always went above and beyond in school, he was an excellent teacher,” Seaton said.

Now, to help with bills his grandmother vends in Port-of-Spain, selling kitchen towels and other household items. Jahiem would give up his leisure time during vacation to sell with his grandmother.

“His mother works, his father works but it still couldn’t help so I use to come out and do whatever it is to assist,” Burke said.

It’s these sacrifices young Jahiem does not take for granted, especially now that they have a booklist to fill.

“Thank you for each and everything you have done so far…It is much appreciated from the bottom of my heart,” he said to his family.

“We getting there, we ain’t reach there yet but we trying, due to how I not working and casino is closed. When the place was open it wasn’t a problem,” his mother added.

Jahiem is excited to start his secondary school life at St Francis Boys’ College, especially to participate in extracurricular activities when face to face classes resume.

“You know I am a very friendly kid,” he said.

He admitted apart from the connectivity issues which he may continue to face, it also took him a while to get accustomed to online school at home but he pushed on.

“I felt like I wasn’t able to interact…I live in a bit of a noisy area,” he said.

Issues he knows may continue in Form One the youngster but keeps motivated by his father’s words, a mentality he wants every child his age to adopt.

Anyone wanting to assist Jaheim in acquiring school supplies can call the family at 325-6964 or 383-1780.