Rising above it all

The year 2019 is one Ethan Missick, 14, won’t ever forget. The teenager learnt, lost and gained so much. He learnt that if he applied himself, success would be the result and that was no more evident than in his successful passing of six Bahamas Junior Certificate (BJC) exams, even though it came during trying times for his family as he watched his grandmother, Donnelle Knowles, who resided with his family, eventually succumb to an illness and he was very involved in her care; and he held his first summer job at his parents’ insistence, to teach him invaluable responsibilities.

Ethan, who will enter 10th grade at Genesis Academy in September, has seven BJC’s. He sat six of the exams this year, and one in eighth grade. He earned A grades in mathematics, English, social studies, health science and religious education; with B grades in general science and Spanish.

“I was hoping I got all As, but I did good in the core subjects – math and English, so I was happy with that,” said the teen.

His mom, Jan Knowles, vice president of marketing and communications at Lynden Pindling International Airport, said she and Ethan’s father – Chef Charles Missick – were proud of his accomplishments, considering the trying year their son had.

Ethan completed the last school year with a 3.63 cumulative grade point average, maintaining his honor roll consistency.

“I’m a good student. I’m not always serious, but when I have to, I get my work done,” he said.

“He worked very hard,” said his proud mother. “He was able to achieve the exam results he did during a very trying time for our family. His grandmother, who resided at home with us, was battling a very serious illness, and the entire family, including Ethan, was very involved in her care. She passed away on July 4, [and] she was so very proud of Ethan. Ethan will never forget this summer of 2019 [during which] he learned, lost and gained so much.”

Ethan believes his work ethic is a combination of his parents, who he said work hard to ensure that he does well academically.

“They work hard to help me study and that’s why I do so well. So, I do some [homework] myself, and they help me with the rest. When I don’t want to study, they push me.”

And he’s appreciative of that push because he knows that having a solid foundation and a good education is imperative to him for his future.

“So that I could have a job that I enjoy doing, and just have a good life doing what I enjoy.”

The teen admits that he didn’t always do the right thing.

“In primary school I didn’t really try my best, and I can’t say I try my best now…because maybe if I really tried I can get a 4.00. I put in the effort and turn in all my work and didn’t always do that before, and now I get good grades.”

His favorite subject is drama and he has held leading dramatic roles in his school’s productions. He successfully represented Genesis Academy in this year’s National Arts Festival in the drama competition.

“I like drama and can deal with the rest. I don’t really like Spanish.”

But he said it doesn’t really matter because he won’t be taking Spanish classes next year.

The student at Genesis Academy said being at a smaller school has its advantages as well as disadvantages.

As he prepares for the new school year, his advice to himself and his peers is to buckle down.

“We only have three years left [in high school], so we might as well try our best to do what we can. It’s better for us to give it our all now so we can pursue what we really want to do.”

Ethan has plans to pursue post-secondary education, but is still undecided about what he would want to study at university as he hasn’t decided on a career as yet, but he knows it won’t be following in his parents’ paths.

“I may eventually want to pursue being able to cook in the future, and have asked my dad to teach me, but I don’t want to be a professional chef or anything like that, and my mom does marketing, but I don’t think that’s what I want to do full time.”

One could argue that he would probably take an architectural track considering he has an epic collection of LEGOs and is the owner of thousands of dollars’ worth of the plastic construction toys which he began collecting at age four. His most amazing structure is the SHIELD Helicarrier, a 3,000-piece set that is recommended for ages 16-plus which he constructed over three days at age 11.

But his fascination with the toy has waned in recent months and he says he’s developed an interest in stop motion because he’s gravitated towards film, and has started getting into electronic games.

“It used to be that all I did was Legos, but I lost interest. Every once-in-a-while – like if the [electricity’s] off – I may just grab them,” he said.

He also has an encyclopedia on the Marvel Universe.

Ethan also enjoys basketball and participated in the Jeff Rodgers Basketball Camp for the past seven summers. The game, which he said he played constantly, is also not holding his interest as much as it used to. For him, gaming is now more fascinating.

As for his first summer job, he saved the money and was able to splurge on his wants while on vacation with his parents. Going into 10th grade, he said he hopes his parents don’t make him use his weekends to continue the job, and that maybe they would pack it in until next summer.

“The money’s good, so I might do it next summer, and over the Christmas – but definitely not during the school year,” he said.

But his parents think the lessons he learns at the job will be invaluable to his development, and they are of the opinion he should continue with the job on weekends.

Ethan is a member of Bethel Baptist Church Boys Brigade and was recently honored by the church for service in the organization. He was also baptized into the Christian faith by Reverend Timothy Stewart of Bethel Baptist Church and received into community as a full member on Easter Sunday 2019.

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Shavaughn Moss

Shavaughn Moss joined The Nassau Guardian as a sports reporter in 1989. She was later promoted to sports editor. Shavaughn covered every major athletic championship from the CARIFTA to Central American and Caribbean Championships through to World Championships and Olympics. Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.

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