Scholar Spotlight (See All)

Jamier Turay (501)

by Ms. Holy

At Rochdale Early Advantage Charter School, character is as important as academics. Staff and scholars alike are always impressed with a scholar who possesses strong abilities and a desire to learn. Jamier Turay is one such scholar. Not only does he work hard and diligently, but his attitude is what is found to be most impressive.

It may be difficult for children to understand some of the tougher things in life. There are many questions that even adults cannot answer. When people go through challenging situations it is not uncommon for them to feel discouraged or want to give up. In Jamier's case, difficulties are only temporary challenges that he plans to find a way out of.

Nothing compares to some personal experiences Jamier had to deal with throughout his childhood. Still, he remains humble and focused.

Jamier's favorite subject is Math. That doesn't sound too unique, many scholars love Math. However, Jamier didn't always love Math. In fact, he hated it.

"For some reason, I used to hate it. Now I love it. I can't wait to go to school for Math," Jamier said.

Not too long ago, Jamier struggled with Math when he was in the lower grades. It wasn't interesting to him and he just thought that he couldn't understand it because it was too difficult. By the time he was in third grade, his attitude started to change when his teacher Ms. Durant kept telling him that she believed he could understand it and he would do better. Jamier still struggled with Math throughout third and fourth grade, but he was making steady improvements. Then came fifth grade.

"I got it," he said.

"‘Mommy, I got it,' that's what he told me," Mrs. Turay, his mother said. "He came home and said [so many] teachers taught me the hard way to do things, but Mr. Cyriac showed me another way. He showed me how I could get [Math] and now I've got it.'"

Mr. Cyriac, Jamier's Math teacher noticed that it is not too often that a scholar who generally doesn't like Math as much as other subjects would still remain so focused and attentive during the lessons. Instead of zoning out or getting distracted by his classmates, Jamier wants to face and beat the challenge of the Math problems in the day's lesson.

"Jamier is a fantastic student," said Mr. Cyriac. "He is always paying attention during class, taking notes on what we are learning, and asking questions anytime he does not understand something. His hard work has paid off, as he has some of the highest grades in Math within the entire fifth grade."

Jamier is grateful to Mr. Cyriac for being patient with him and giving him options. He always thought that there was only one way to look at Math problems and because he's now aware of how to look at problems and think more critically, he has found a way to be comfortable with Math to the point where he loves it as much as he loves reading.

Jamier's "Not Giving Up" attitude has made him a shining star in Math. He is a model scholar overall who has a passion for reading. He is known for falling asleep with a book in his hand. He is the last of 5 children, and his older sisters have told his mother several times that Jamier reads late into the night when he should be sleeping. Or he wakes up in the middle of the night just to finish a book. Mrs. Turay was straightening his bed one day a few weeks ago when she noticed that he had nearly ten chapter books and a flashlight hidden underneath his pillows.

Even though Jamier has had some tough times with Math in the past, nothing compares to some personal experiences he's had to deal with throughout his childhood. Still, he remains humble and focused. He doesn't have a "Woe is me" mentality or one of entitlement. He wants to work for everything that he gets, and he doesn't let obstacles prevent him from enjoying his life at school or with friends and family.

He has had to address medical concerns for most of his life, yet he doesn't make them a concern. At a young age, he underwent several medical procedures and has had to miss school from time to time. He insists that he make up every assignment he may have missed, and asks his mother to pick up his schoolwork for him and teach him the lessons at home. He points out that his friend Errol Fenton (502) is supportive and tries to be there for him any way he can. He considers Errol a supportive and protective friend.

In the future, Jamier aspires to become a veterinary surgeon. He likes to research about animals and watches videos about veterinarians and surgical procedures on YouTube. His parents have never told him "You can't be that" or "You can't do that." He always hears from them that he can, so he believes he will.

Jamier's "Not Giving Up" attitude means that everything that presents itself as a challenge is only going to make him work harder, and he does it without complaining and always with a smile.

Things you may not know about Jamier:

  1. He plays basketball and football, and likes playing Xbox on the weekends
  2. His favorite book series is the "I Survive" collection by Lauren Tarshis
  3. Jamier's favorite vacation spot is Las Vegas, NV (he's visited there twice!)
  4. Jamier's father is the oldest in a royal family in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Jamier's uncle is the President of Sierra Leone!
  5. Jamier has been awarded the Citizenship Award and the Respect Award at REACS