Klint Smart, Joshua Reece, Melanie Ganga and Nicholas Kennedy, each won national scholarships last week and apart from their parents and schoolteachers, they thanked the management of Pizza Boys.
The four friends told Newsday of the friendship they struck up and challenges they faced finding a suitable meeting place to study. Smart, Reece and Kennedy, attended Fyzabad Anglican Secondary School where they sat the CSEC. But they were not all successful in gaining entry into the same secondary school to sit the CAPE exams — Smart got into Naparima College and Kennedy at Presentation College. Reece remained at Fyzabad Anglican Secondary School, but the students vowed that separation would not break their friendship and so they kept in touch via text messaging and Facebook. Smart lives in Palo Seco and Reece in Penal. Kennedy lives in Siparia.
The three decided that since they were best friends, they would meet at a central location after school to “beat books”. They met on most days of the week at the public library in Siparia, where they committed themselves to winning national scholarships.
It required additional hours of studying, but the public library closing time of 6 pm, posed a setback for the three friends.
“Because we live in different areas, the library was our meeting point. We were the last people to leave the library everyday and the security would tell us to leave so they could lock up. Sometimes they would run us out,” Smart said.
Smart met Ganga while taking lessons at a private tutor. She attended Iere High School, Siparia and with the same ambition to win a scholarship, joined Smart and his former schoolmates in group studies.
Smart said that he, Reece, Kennedy and Ganga, would leave the library feeling dejected.
Then, one afternoon when the group was told to leave the library, they stood outside the building in Siparia. Ganga would leave for home where she continued her studies, but Smart, Reece and Kennedy were determined to gain as much as they could as a group.
“We started going into Pizza Boys and staying up to 10 pm. That is how we were able to study. We wanted the extra time,” Smart said. Pizza Boys was usually noisy, he added, but as night approached, things became quieter.
“The outlet was obviously noisy and it was only late in the night, when most of the customers leave, we would study until 10 pm,” Smart said. The three boys have applied to University of the West Indies to study medicine.