Well-known educator Dr Renee Rattray underscored that magic isn’t simply the figment of a child’s imagination, as she lifted the spirits of some 100 graduates from the Maxfield Park Primary School in East Central St Andrew, recently.

“In order to be successful, I must first believe in … ME,” said Rattray. “Success is impossible if you don’t understand who you are first,” she added as she defined the latter ‘M’.

The education programmes director at the JN Foundation, reminded the students that it was important for them to be confident, despite their circumstances, even when others relate negative and disempowering stories about them and their community.

“Don’t let anyone tell you that because you are from Maxfield, you can’t do well,” she implored the students.

“With the right attitude, you can determine your altitude,” she maintained, defining the letter ‘A’ in Magic.

“You must believe ‘I can’ and ‘I will’. And, by being positive about yourself and others, you will always be able to achieve,” stressed Rattary.


She encouraged the children to adopt an attitude of determination, which she skilfully positioned as “Go Get it” to represent the letter ‘G’ in her word of the day.

“You have to be hungry for success. You have to want success so badly that you don’t pay attention to what anyone else says about you,” she said, while encouraging them to play by rules at all times.

“Do things the right way so that no one can ever question how you achieved your success; and, most of all, so that you can be proud when you look back at what you accomplished to get where you are,” she said.

She also inspired the children to be innovative, underscoring that they were not too young to develop ideas that can be meaningful and impactful.

“There are no human beings more creative than children. Use that big brain that God gave you; and instead of complaining, or looking at what your friends have, be grateful for what you have and make the best use of it.”

Finally, using the ‘C’ in magic, Rattray charged the youngsters to also be confident, to step out boldly and to stand up for what they believe no matter the cost.

Rattray urged the school leavers to also demonstrate care by supporting each other and others around them, advising them that they cannot achieve success all by themselves.

“There are persons who will help you, and others who you will need to help along the way, because when you do that, you will become the person you dream about being, and they will become the person they want to be. And, that is a positive way to build a caring community and the strong country you’ve always dreamed about.”

She concluded by engaging the students in the singing of the popular song My Dream by Nesbeth, urging the graduates to: “Dream big, children. Believe in yourselves; be positive about life; be determined; be creative; embrace life with confidence and care about others. Do all these things and you’ll find that in the end, you’ll make magic possible in your lives and the lives of others!”

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