Lester Vaughn’s hidden gem

Imagine at 14-years-old you are the holder of multiple medals in martial arts, essay competitions a steelpan player with the Mosaic Steel Orchestra, a member of Girl Guides, and a semi-finalist in the Richard Stoute Teen Talent Competition.

This is the life of Lauryn Small, a student of Lester Vaughan Memorial School in St Thomas. Barbados TODAY interviewed Lauryn to get a glimpse into her life and how she manages to juggle all these activities and still come out on top.

BT: How do you manage your many activities and commitments?

Lauryn: I manage most of my activities with [the help of] my mother. We sit at the beginning of the week and we plan everything starting with the very first activity.

BT: Can you tell us a bit of your schedule?

Lauryn: The week starts with my karate which is on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Steelpan is on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and Girl Guides which is mostly on Saturdays.

BT: In your list of accomplishments, it says that you have represented Barbados in martial arts competitions from ages seven to 12. Can you describe what those experiences were like?

Lauryn: The first time I went to fight it was [a bit] frightening because I didn’t know who I was coming up against, where they were from or what kind of skills they had. But my mother was there to encourage me as well as my aunt and other family members who said, ‘Lauryn just do you best no matter if you come first, second, third or last. You go out there and do your best’.

BT: How have you performed when representing the country?

Lauryn: With all the encouragement, it pushed me to do my best. When I came off the mat, my mother hugged me and said well done. The hard work, everything came into place, and everything paid off. I won a title belt in grappling and the Caribbean title in Trinidad. I also won bronze in stand-up fighting in Trinidad.

BT: Not only are you an athlete but you are also involved in music. How do you manage the two activities?

Lauryn: Everybody says that sports is good for you and exercise to keep you healthy so what I did when I started the steel pan, I told my mother, ‘Mummy I like steelpan, but I am still going to exercise’.

I still do my exercising here and there but [it has fallen behind somewhat]. I have told my mother when we have steelpan we will bring extra clothes and exercise afterwards.

BT: As If her calendar of activities was not enough, Lauren entered this year’s Richard Stoute Teen Talent Competition. Though she did not advance to the finals, the teenager recounted what she learned from the experience.

Lauryn: The hard work paid off. I didn’t make it through to the finals, but I was still happy that I made it somewhere. Richard Stoute also helped me with my confidence so I can go in front persons and feel happy and confident about what I am doing.

BT: With medals in various sporting disciplines, your membership in Mosaic Steel Orchestra and your awards for her creative writing and drawings, what advice would you give to students of Lester Vaughan school who may be inspired by you?

Lauryn: Everybody thinks that Lester Vaughn is a school where you come out and become someone who works in a hotel or something boring. My advice to fellow students who are attending Lester Vaughan School – you can be the next Prime Minister if you want to be.

29 Responses to Lester Vaughn’s hidden gem

  1. Audrey Worrell
    Audrey Worrell November 3, 2017 at 11:22 am


  2. Reds Lucombe
    Reds Lucombe November 3, 2017 at 11:26 am

    wonderful keep it up I’m also a lover if steel pan

  3. Kim Connell
    Kim Connell November 3, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Congratulations young lady keep doing your best

  4. Rose Petal
    Rose Petal November 3, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Congrats young lady keep this post going share it to your wall

  5. Jackie Agard
    Jackie Agard November 3, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Congratulation #love listening to steel pan

  6. Lisa Johnson
    Lisa Johnson November 3, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Well done .

  7. Marilyn Curreny
    Marilyn Curreny November 3, 2017 at 12:05 pm


  8. Carol Hoyte
    Carol Hoyte November 3, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Congrats Lauren!!

  9. Tawnya Archer
    Tawnya Archer November 3, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Continue to excel Lauryn! I knew you would always do well in whatever you put your mind to. I saw your motivation from your days spent in Blossoms at Primary School. Salena, you were always there behind Lauryn. Continue to be her rock!

  10. Jeanetha Callender
    Jeanetha Callender November 3, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Good girl…keep shinning

  11. Paulette Callender
    Paulette Callender November 3, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Keep shinning young and reaching for the stars

  12. Carl Andrew Williams
    Carl Andrew Williams November 3, 2017 at 12:35 pm


  13. Carlitha Andrews
    Carlitha Andrews November 3, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    Go girl the sky is ur limit

  14. Andrea Atkins
    Andrea Atkins November 3, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Congrats Lauren. Keep up the good work.

  15. Kaie Cox
    Kaie Cox November 3, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    very proud of you, keep it up

  16. Janice Tull
    Janice Tull November 3, 2017 at 1:33 pm


  17. Suzette Clarke
    Suzette Clarke November 3, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    It’s always heartwarming to see a positive story about young people doing well. We need more of these stories.

  18. Thelma Rosita Worrell
    Thelma Rosita Worrell November 3, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    Congratulations,stay focus,God bless.

  19. Ryan Rowe
    Ryan Rowe November 3, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    Congrats Lauren keep the good work up.

  20. Michelle Griffith
    Michelle Griffith November 3, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    You go girl, keep it up, and mom you are a blessing.

  21. Yvette Alleyne
    Yvette Alleyne November 3, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Congrats to you and your mom and may GOD continue to bless you always.

  22. Janice Hinds November 4, 2017 at 6:52 am

    I am excited for this young girl. Keep up the good works and continue to be a leader. Anyone can excel once they have that mind set.

  23. Shabeau November 4, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Keep it up young lady…make yourself proud.

  24. Boss Lady November 4, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    Well rounded and well grounded

  25. Juansquires November 4, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    Congratulations you’re very focus for your AGE, Keep up the good work and reach for the Star’s my dear the sky your limit.. Mum you’re doing a great job of encouraging her to try no matter the out COME. Wishing YOU BOTH God’s unchanging Grace Mercy and Love

  26. Juansquires November 4, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Keep up the good work!congratulations the sky is your limit reach for the Stars

  27. Monica November 5, 2017 at 12:46 am

    Congrats and may God continue to bless you in all you do.

  28. Margaret Ross-Salavarria November 5, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Congratulations Lauren. One can be good at anything they try to do, and always give it your best. Never give up. I still can’t get over that St. Leonard’s Girls is now Lester Vaughn.

  29. Ras November 8, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    WOW a young person who loves her Mother is not lost, looking for hand outs or lack morals
    Let your light shine Girl be a Leader always a follower NEVER
    Remain focus


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