Ibrahim Duffus named UWI Mona's top matriculantSunday, September 19, 2021
In this photo, Ibrahim Johari Duffus, the 2021-2022 top University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, matriculant, signs the matriculation register at UWI's Welcome and Matriculation Service at the UWI Chapel. Looking on at left are Principal and Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Dale Webber, and UWI Campus Registrar Dr Donovan Stanberry.
Duffus, who was diagnosed with mild autism at a young age, will be receiving a full UWI open scholarship.
The second of two children, Duffus was diagnosed when he was three and a half years old. Being autistic, his cognitive and communication skills were weak and made it difficult for him to interact with others and make friends. As such, he realised that getting an early head start would be critical to his success and wasted no time procrastinating. Not only did he prepare for examinations from the start of the new school year, but he made sure to also assess the support level he would get from his teachers and took steps where necessary to seek out additional help.
He attended Liberty Academy in St Andrew, which had a programme for special needs children, and with loving support from his parents and teachers his condition steadily improved and eventually secured him a place at Wolmer's Boys School in 2013.
From an early age, Duffus recalled being told by his parents, who were both government pensioners, that they would do their best to finance him and his sister, Anika, through primary and secondary schools; however, thereafter, they would need to earn scholarships to support their tertiary education. With this in mind, Duffus and Anika diligently applied themselves to their studies and ended up becoming valedictorians at their respective high school graduations. Anika later won a fully paid scholarship to Princeton University, where she is now studying to obtain a computer science degree.
Ibrahim's journey to becoming the top UWI matriculant saw him sitting nine subjects at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) level in 2018 and receiving nine grade ones, all with 'A' profiles. For the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) leg of the journey, he achieved five double units with grade ones.
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