NASSAU, The Bahamas – The words “grateful” and “humbled” were used by the 2015 All-Bahamas Merit Scholar, Domonic McDonald to describe being awarded this most coveted award for high school students in the country.
The 17-year-old 2015 graduate of Queen’s College even beat out his twin brother Donovan, but was relieved that both of them are being afforded the opportunity to attend college, through the All-Bahamas Merit Scholarship programme by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
Domonic was officially introduced during the All-Bahamas Merit Scholarship Award Ceremony facilitated by the Ministry on Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.
The awardee received a $150,000 four-year scholarship to attend the prestigious University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada, to study International Relations and Diplomacy.
The Minister of Education, Science and Technology the Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald described Domonic as “a truly amazing individual whose academic portfolio is quite impressive.”
Responding to the honour awarded him, Domonic likened his family experience to the one illustrated in the award winning play “A Raisin in the Sun” which focuses on an African-American family living in post World War II era. Despite the many challenges faced by that family, they managed to send their daughter Beneatha to college to achieve her dreams.
Domonic observed the recurring theme of sacrifice the family endured so that Beneatha could attend college — even when her bother squandered the money set aside for her tuition. However, the family kept their hopes high and did what it took for her to succeed.
“Although, thankfully, my family and I were spared the unfortunate circumstances that befalls the family in the play, I must say that the images presented within it are strikingly familiar to me,” Domonic said.
He told of how his parents – Brian and Constance McDonald, sacrificed so much so that he and his brother could be successful in high school, for which he was “beyond grateful.”
Domonic said that two words came to his mind when describing his feelings. The first, “grateful.” His parents raised twin boys, he and his brother, Donovan, who is also a recipient of a Merit Scholarship. He plans to study Biomedical Science at Texas A &M University.
“Another word I would use to describe this feeling right now is ‘humbled.’ I am humbled by the fact that just as easily as the Selection Committee said, ‘Domonic McDonald’, someone else’s name could have been called,” he said.
The aspiring United Nations Diplomat and Prime Minister thanked the Ministry and the school he attended since age four, Queen’s College – the teachers who went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure he understood what was taught him.
He achieved six BJC “A” grades after sitting the examinations in grades 8 and 9. He was awarded for outstanding performance in the 2014 BGCSE Examinations for obtaining 10 ‘A’ passes in grade 11. He made an impressive SAT score of 2050, maintained the Principals’ List Status for his entire high school career, and obtained a cumulative GPA of 4.1.
Domonic’s activities included: Campus Duty Assistant, Student Council Representative, Model UN Seminars, Past President of Queen’s College Debating Society, represented Team Bahamas in the Squash CASA International Tournament from 2011-2013, a Bronze Level Participant in the Governor General’s Youth Award Programme and the Bahamas Red Cross, The Salvation Army the Bahamas Humane Society and the Bahamas National Trust.
His response as to “Why do you think you would be the ideal All-Bahamas Merit Scholar: “ I pride myself in being a dogged and determined person who aims for nothing but the highest standards both in and out of school. I look for opportunity to grow and learn as I journey toward my goal of one day becoming the Prime Minister of this beautiful archipelagic nation, The Commonwealth of The Bahamas.”