Jaelynn Crawford: a testament of hard work and dedication
Its graduation season, and young Belizeans countrywide are preparing for the next step in their academic journey. For many, that means leaving home to study abroad and venturing into new territories. For Jaelyn Crawford, a senior at Belize High School, her choices are many. She is a young lady who has surpassed even her own expectations. Imagine being 16-years-old, graduating in the top of your class, and being offered one million dollars’ worth of scholarships from 18 universities. It sounds too good to be true. Here is Reporter Vejea Alvarez with that story.
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Meet 16–year-old Jaelynn Crawford. She’s a senior at Belize High School (BHS) whose hard work and dedication have paid off in an enormous way. The straight-A student has received over a million dollars in scholarship opportunities from 17 international universities and is on her way to a bright future. Jaelynn has spent the last four years preparing for international studies and says the dream began when she fell in love with BHS while attending St. Joseph Primary School.
Jaelynn Crawford, Belize High School Senior: “So I first learned about BHS through a yearbook and it was just a bunch of events and activities that I saw and I was interested in applying. I spoke to my mom, we discussed it, and we decided that it was a path for me to come here and I got here since my freshman year they’ve pushed the college application process and so it kind of began there but it got more serious towards my junior and senior year where I had to put in the most work.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: And, working hard is something that Jaelynn has never shied away from. Her freshman teacher and Vice Principal, Joseph Stamp Romero, described her as a catalyst for change whose work ethic was unmatched.
Joseph Stamp Romero, Vice Principal: “I had Jaelynn Crawford in my class the first time I came to BHS and I was really, really impressed. I saw how she was consistent, I saw how she was eager to learn when she didn’t know something she challenged herself to learn that thing, and she was one of those students that you could always depend on to challenge you and I think that’s what we have that’s unique at BHS, our students are allowed to question their own process here as they learn and so I know that what we see here is a testimony of Jaelynn’s every day work that she gives giving 1000% and so I am not surprised at all in the outcome because I’ve seen where she has been preparing for this for a long time.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: In April, representatives of Campbellsville University met with over 400 Belizean students but were wowed by Crawford’s character, academics, and leadership skills and offered her a Leadership and International Student Scholarship. But her journey was not an easy one, achieving academic excellence while coming from a single-parent household with financial restraints.
Jaelynn Crawford, Belize High School Senior: “I sent out 17 applications and I was accepted to 17 of those schools, luckily, and recruited by four. And I have decided that I will attend one of the four that I was recruited from, which is Campbellsville University in Kentucky.”
Reporter: Okay. So four years ago when you were a freshman here at BHS what motivated you?
Jaelynn Crawford, Belize High School Senior: “Really, it’s just kind of how I grew up. My mom raised me alongside my great-grandparents and they just instilled in me the confidence and grit to try anything and put my all into all that I do. And so when I decided to come to BHS it was kind of like, you know, that’s not expected. You know, it was maybe another school but when I did decide to come and I put in the work and everybody saw that this was a school of opportunities I think that’s when everybody realized the part that I’m on. And I think I took it really seriously because I know how hard my mom works and I know how many sacrifices she’s made to be able to give me these opportunities. So that’s just been my main goal, to make her proud, make my family proud, and be a good role model for my little sister.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Jaelynn says her motivation was also drawn from the immense support she received from mentors like Stamp Romero, who explained that while Jaelyn’s success was much of her own making, the school worked with her every step of the way to make her dream a reality.
Joseph Stamp Romero, Vice Principal: “One of the goals of Belize High School is to prepare students for international competition, right? And that doesn’t range to the extent of robotics competition in terms of education. Being competitive in a global economy. And so students are introduced to an international or curriculum, a US based curriculum to be spec specific. And so one of the things that happens is a discussion about where do you want to go next? And so from the beginning, from a freshman year all the way through students are constantly seen having discussions with teachers. We have people who are visiting to discuss, you know, what are your potential? Where do you see yourself? And so I think that allows students to dream big here at BHS.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: For Crawford ultimately, the opportunity is one that she is hoping to use to build her nation. And, according to Stamp-Romero, it’s a goal that is shared among the visionaries and future leaders being churned out at BHS.
Joseph Stamp Romero, Vice Principal: “Our students, as I said, they’re taught to dream big, and so they dream big and oftentimes you hear that they want to come back to build Belize. I think that’s really essential because you often get the sense that BHS is on its own planet, you know? No, it’s not. You know, we’re building leaders for tomorrow, and because of that, our students are taught to build, you know to dream big so they can make Belize the place that they want to see it to be.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Crawford will be attending Campbellsville University in Kentucky USAin the fall. Her scholarship includes tuition, boarding, meals, a paid job as a Student Ambassador in the Admissions Office, and an internship at the CU Media College. She says that her advice to youth people is to work hard, dream big, and go beyond boundaries.”
Jaelyn Crawford says she will be pursuing a career in journalism.