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Jun 24, 2022

In this week’s Bright Side; a twenty five year old mother completes Highschool.

The path to success is not always paved. During graduation season, it’s a time of celebration for the ticket to prosperity- an education. They say it’s the best investment you can make. For some, the voyage of learning is effortless but for a growing percentage, it’s an uphill battle. Sabreena Daly met with one such example in her latest bright side piece.


Sabreena Daly, Reporting

Jerdine Flores is among the most recent class of graduates from Sadie Vernon High School. While celebration for completion is well-deserved, she is also one of the oldest graduates at twenty-five. Jerdine is also a young mother. But there are a number of sequences of stages to her story. All in pursuit of an education, she passed through ten institutions that would lead her to this end result. The obvious question, what made the journey so difficult?


Jerdine Flores

Jerdine Flores, Sadie Vernon Graduate 

“I was always a slow learner. When I was going to Muslim Community Primary School, the word was, “dumb”, but since I went to stella Morris, they teach the actual disability name. Even my mom, “When you wa learn?”, “You are stupid”, “You’re a fool”. That stick ina my head, right, before I learnt.”


She attended three learning institutions before she became aware of her learning disability. Jerdine started at Stella Maris as the age of nine. Before that, she only knew the theme song of her preschool.


Jerdine Flores

“I went to Sacred Heart RC School, infant one, and my mom asked me what I learnt. Same old thing, Benguche Preschool and I sing it. I start cry. I don’t know what to do now. So, when my teacher called my mom forth, she said, “Jerdine cannot learn. We cannot teach her. She needs to go to Stella Morris” My mom said okay and registered me.”


According to UNICEF, there is not yet a standard description or classification for kids with special needs in Belize. The lack of a definition makes it difficult to research the extent of children’s disabilities. Jerdine’s case made acquiring knowledge exceptionally difficult. She graduated Stella Maris and enlisted at a formal high school. Only a few months in, she faced discrimination because of her disability and eventually failed the first year.

Jerdine Flores

“I mih fail first form and I was bullied there too. I can’t take bullying so I just cry because I know If I fight this time, they can kick me out. I came home and cried to my mom and my mom said ignore them, you shame ah Stella Morris. I said no, but I can’t take bullying.”



“Were they bullying you because of the school you came from? Because you came from Stella Morris?”

Jerdine Flores



Jerdine then chose the alternative to formal learning through trade school. She enrolled and graduated from YWCA, then enrolled and graduated from ITVET. She shared with us her love of cooking that she learned from her mom’s food business. But she wanted more.


Jerdine Flores

“After I graduated from ITVET, I told my mom I still want to go to school. She said, you will want go dah school Jerdine? I said, yes! You done tell me if ah want be social worker, I have to go to school and I really want to be a social worker.”



“Why did you want to be a social worker?”


Jerdine Flores

“Nobody’s perfect but dealing with young people and toddlers, its difficult and you always need that support. Even if you don’t get it from home, you have that support from different organizations. And I want to give back. Just like how social workers talk to me, I want to talk to other children.”


The aspiring social worker started the Gwen Liz evening division school. But fulfilling her dream was then interrupted after she became pregnant with a baby boy. As a result, she failed her last year.

Jerdine Flores

“My ma seh, yuh gwine back da school, either yuh want or not. I tell my mah, I noh want guh back, I mih done give up. But I said, if you wah force me fo goh back, I gwine back. When school start again, I went to school and my ma di mind my baby while I dih try fight fih pass.”


And pass she did. During our interview we got a visit from the little boy that now shares her accomplishments. Jerdine is a symbol of perseverance. And at the age of twenty-five, almost a year ago, she set another goal for herself. She wanted to finish fourth form.

Jerdine Flores

“Ah seh, hmmm, twenty-five? Ah seh but anyways, I gwine ina my uniform. I nuh care weh nobody seh and anybody weh mek bad comment, I wah mek they know, follow me. And Stella Morris dih wait fo unu too. And Saidie Vernon di wait fo unu too. I would say it with a smile and say follow me, let’s go. Once unu have unu money unu could get unu education too.”


Abigail Hoare

Abigail Hoare, Counselor

“She was welcomed. She was seen as equal as anyone else. Meeting her was a complete pleasure. At times she would come to my office or stop by the class that I am teaching and she would say miss I just want to say hi and I hope your day is going well and I am okay too and I’m here to work hard. I mean, which educator doesn’t want to hear that?”

Ultimately, Jerdine accomplished a goal that was considered unattainable when she was nine. She finally got an authentic high school experience, the prom, the graduation, the pride of completion. And if you’re wondering what’s next, well, that’s not to guess.



“I would imagine you want to continue school.”
Jerdine Flores

“Yeah! I’m seeking help for a scholarship to attend SJCJC in January though, I will start because they’re already full when I went to check.”

Jerdine Flores

“No matter what they think about you, noh care how much mischievous things you do, always have a plan fo yoh life and don’t care how long it takes, you will reach there.”


Looking on the Bright Side, I’m Sabreena Daly


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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