Jay-Myer and Jemila Auld

Twelve-year-old twins, Jay-Myer and Jemila Auld, can be considered the proverbial “peas in a pod.’” Being the best of friends, means that there is endless friendly banter between them; however, when it comes to school work, they can be fiercely competitive.

Since basic school, Jay-Myer and Jemila have always shared every class. At the Southborough Primary School in St. Catherine, where they attended, Jemila topped all of her classes. Despite her consistent high performance, Jay-Myer always remained hopeful that he would outperform his sister; but he has never quite succeeded.

“The top students in the class are the girls. The girls perform better than the boys,” explained Jemila, adding that her brother is usually among the top five boys in their class.

Having sat the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) this year, Jay-Myer was intentional in choosing a different high school from his sister, to prove to himself that he is capable of topping his class.

“I want to see if I can do better [academically].  I am tired of competing with her, because I know I am going to lose.  Every time I reach the point where I can beat her, she rises,” he related.

Jay-Myer and Jemila received many trophies for academic performance while at Southborough Primary School

Jay-Myer and Jemila achieved placement scores of 343.3 and 349.2 respectively, in the PEP.  Jemila’s almost perfect score earned her a five-year government scholarship to attend Campion College.  Not to be outdone, Jay-Myer was also awarded a five-year scholarship from the JN

Foundation; and emerged the JN Foundation Scholar for the parish of St Catherine.

“The scholarship means a lot to me.  It makes me feel good that I am on top for once,” pointed out Jay-Myer, who will be heading to Wolmer’s Boys’ School.

Jemila thinks the world of her brother, whom she describes as being reserved, sarcastic, and has a dry sense of humour. Jay-Myer cherishes the sentiments of having a twin sister, with whom he can always relate.

As they prepared for high school, they are uncertain about how they will deal with their separation.  Like her brother, Jemila is looking forward to attending a different school, although she has some reservations that she may end up feeling lonely not having him around.

“We normally have each other for support; and we give a comforting presence to each other,” she said.

Their mother, Sanya Anderson, a hairstylist from Portmore, St Catherine, is proud of the accomplishments of her children.  She disclosed that in grade one, they emerged the top boy and top girl.

“I was overjoyed. I was excited, because I always pray about it [the scholarships].  I know they have the ability; therefore, I always push them to do their best, because it is already in them. I always examine their work no matter what time I get home.”

Equally overjoyed about the children’s successes was their father, Benvil Auld, a computer technician, also of Portmore.

“I’m grateful for the scholarships for our children,” he said, adding that he and the children’s mother always put the children’s interests first.

“Jemila is always a bright spark and Jay-Myer was a little behind,” Mr Auld related, “however, he gradually worked his way up last year; and now the gap between them is very narrow.”

The twins credit their parents for being “the wind beneath their wings.”

“My mother is always says inspiring things to encourage me,” Jay-Myer informed. “She is very hardworking and always get things done. I want to be like her.”

Jemila, on the other hand, admires that her father, who lives in a different home, will spend up to two hours at a time on the phone, talking with her about school.

As it relates to their career paths, Jay-Myer wants to become a computer technician, like his father. Jemila, however, has yet to decide what career goal she will pursue.

“It always changes, because I am always discovering a new profession,” she explained.

A total of 35 PEP scholarships were awarded by the JN Foundation this year. Since the inception of the JN Scholarship Programme in 1983, hundreds of students at the secondary level have benefitted.