12 year old Cristy Joseph, student of the Choiseul Secondary creates pandemonium after completing a set goal. Adamant to not allow her disability dictate her life, the first form student registered for her school’s annual road race fully intending to complete it under any circumstance.
On Friday 17th November 2017 the Choiseul Secondary situated in La Fargue, St Lucia held its annual road race. Surprising to most a visually impaired student had enlisted to participate in the sporting event. Filled with anticipation faculty and students eagerly awaited the student.
Joseph who has surpassed many expectations and succeeded the many obstacles prevalent in her life was eager to leave her mark on the history of her schooling institution.
Cristy embarked on the race beginning on the school compound down to the Choiseul Village via Savanne George, once more to Reunion and returning to the School via the Village. Making her way briskly through the course supported by cheers and encouragement from peers and teachers and guided throughout by her friend Brite Renee, Joseph’s excitement was evident on her smile filled face.
Seemingly completing the race with ease Joseph was welcomed across the finish line by house mates who although were in a 4th placing standing recognized the truly valuable one point contribution by Joseph. Joseph also participated in the Road Race at Reunion Primary previously and placed 16th out of a field of 83 students.
No stranger to claiming the Esteemed Challenge Award at the Annual National Youth Awards Joseph continues to break barriers at any given chance. A prime example of this lies within her attendance at a Space Camp for disabled kids in Alabama where she conquered all the competitions in which she participated.
Prior to this Joseph was a girl guide, played the flute, and participated in all cheer leading competitions at primary level. Also dabbling in pageantry Joseph has also won the title of Miss Special Ed, at the Special Ed Pageant in Vieux Fort in 2015.
Evidently it is safe to proclaim that Joseph is a catalyst for change in the perception of people living with disability. Noting that the youth are our future Joseph’s example paves the path for disabled youth allowing them to realize their circumstances should not define who they are but recognize that dreams are achievable through tireless work.
Joseph is a true testament to the fact that although lack of sight may be seen as a disadvantage by many, it is a mere obstacle, one that she will continue to overcome with ‘Discipline and Perseverance: Keys to Success,’ as the motto of her schooling institution states.