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Include us!

She is the first blind valedictorian of the Barbados Community College (BCC).

And Janeil Odle, who graduated tonight with a near perfect grade point average of 3.97, has appealed for a more inclusive Barbadian society.

In a speech before the 2014 graduating class of 1,361 students gathered at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex , as well as officials and scores of well wishers, she noted that “20 years ago it is highly probable that I would not have been given the chance to be anyone’s valedictorian”.

Valedictorian Janeil Odle receives a special award for her outstanding achievements from BCC Board Chairman Stephen Brome.

Valedictorian Janeil Odle receives a special award for her outstanding achievements from BCC Board Chairman Stephen Brome.

“As we look around our society the number of disabled people achieving their academic goals is very few. This is not only because of the social mentality that people are invalids and worth nothing, but it is because we are conditioned to think that disability has made us insignificant and incapable.”

“In a period in our history when the emphasis is on sustainable development and our society is becoming increasingly diversified, it is of utmost importance that we practice inclusion of all socio-economic and physically-abled groups in our society,” said Odle, who is a member of the Barbados Council For The Disabled.

“My dream is to have an all-inclusive Barbados. My vision is of an island where everyone is worth something, an island where in spite of one’s various challenges, or differences, their skills and talents are recognised,” said the English Literature and Law major, who was recently awarded a national exhibition.


17 Responses to Include us!

  1. Deidre Speed-Queen Mayers
    Deidre Speed-Queen Mayers November 8, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS, you will pave the way for others! It’s great to see this type of accomplishment from a differently abled individual! Technology has certainly come a long way! Keep striving for excellence girl! These stories warm my heart

  2. Sherry Ann Thankful
    Sherry Ann Thankful November 9, 2014 at 12:07 am


  3. Sharon Gumbs
    Sharon Gumbs November 9, 2014 at 12:19 am

    Congrats and much blessings!

  4. Ingrid Bynoe
    Ingrid Bynoe November 9, 2014 at 5:49 am

    Congrats. You are more than a conqueror.

  5. Ingrid Kinch
    Ingrid Kinch November 9, 2014 at 8:00 am

    well done. May you become an inspiration to others

  6. Ayanna Young Marshall
    Ayanna Young Marshall November 9, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Many congratulations! Thank you for that powerful message. Our society stands to benefit by being more inclusive & accommodating of disabled people. Love & blessings as you continue along your journey.

  7. Peggy Stoute Morin November 9, 2014 at 10:51 am

    This is wonderful. Congratulations! It’s way overdue that Barbadians realize that we have leaders and high achievers in every segment of Bajan society. I never liked how the disabled were treated in Barbados. I hope this is the beginning of a new mindset. Live long and proper, young lady.

  8. Amanda Browne
    Amanda Browne November 9, 2014 at 2:22 pm


  9. Shirley Clarke
    Shirley Clarke November 9, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Blessing a great inspiration ,congrats

  10. Jerry Ahr
    Jerry Ahr November 9, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    May God bless your journey to the future.

  11. Juliette Bynoe-Sutherland
    Juliette Bynoe-Sutherland November 9, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Ellerton Wesleyan Church family so proud of you.

  12. Brenda Chase
    Brenda Chase November 9, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Congratulations to you on this well earned achievement. You did not allow your lack of sight to become an obstacle in the path on which you have envisioned your life heading. Good luck to you on this and all your future endeavors.

  13. Maureen Bance
    Maureen Bance November 10, 2014 at 1:39 am

    Congrats….n….God Bless You!
    You made me proud.

  14. Dots In The Water
    Dots In The Water November 10, 2014 at 4:35 am


  15. Theresa Lewis
    Theresa Lewis November 10, 2014 at 5:15 am

    i am so proud of her. I wish my grandson tell me he can’t do somethin, i’ll shove this video in his face

  16. Loretta Skeete November 10, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Very interesting story! What it says is that you can if you think you can!

  17. Sandra Cotton November 25, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    You have done…….. Never doubt your potential. Congrats


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