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Failure is not an option

Kingsley Pinder holds down honor roll status in college despite medical setbacks
  • Philander Smith College sophomore Kingsley Pinder Jr., a mechanical engineer student, is holding his own academically in college, continuing on the success he achieved in high school.


Published: Oct 16, 2013

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It was at the age of 10, while in fourth grade that Kingsley Pinder realized that he wanted to become an engineer, and that if he wanted to attain that goal that he had to do well academically. Since then, the 19-year-old sophomore college student has made the honor roll every year. Failure for him was not an option.

And now Kingsley is a sophomore, enrolled in Philander Smith College in Arkansas, where he is studying mechanical engineering and boasts a 3.91 Grade Point Average.

“Education has always been important to me, ever since I was a little child, so that I could achieve the goals that I want to have — to be at a certain point where my parents don’t have to work hard anymore and to be able to support my wife and kids when I get them,” he said.

According to Kingsley, his parents Kingsley Pinder Sr. and Ernestine Pinder always encouraged him to do well in school, always speaking to him about the importance of a good education.

“All they really asked from me was that I do my best,” he said.

Adding that he never wanted to be average, and that he always strove to be on top, he said he knew he had to put in a lot of effort to achieve that goal. And when he realized that it took constant review and studying, he just did it automatically.

“From the time I realized that I wanted to be an engineer, and one of the best, I just knew that I had to get good grades.”

His interest was sparked in the engineering field he said after working with his father in the family business, Ace Lawnmower Small Engine and Repair Shop on McCullough Corner.

In high school, Kingsley said he learned to review his lessons daily, but that in college he realized that he had to study differently, and has since adjusted which allowed him to maintain his honor roll status grades.

He is doing so well that he frequently tutors his peers when they ask him.

“I help them basically in any subject that they ask for help in … college algebra, calculus … it’s just natural for me to help, because I learned to be helpful to people from my daddy,” he said.

The 2012 Nassau Christian Academy graduate who attained nine Bahamas General Certificates of Secondary Education with five A Grades and four B grades, did not anticipate the medical setbacks that would try to derail him. Twice his lungs collapsed, and twice he recovered, still managing to do his schoolwork while he recuperated in hospital.

As he journeys on the road to his academic goals, Kingsley does so with the aid of a partial academic scholarship from the college he attends, as well as a government grant. And he plans to study through to at least a master’s degree. The three-two program he’s enrolled in has him studying for three years at Philander Smith before transferring to the University of Arkansas for the last two years.

As he succeeds in his academic goals, Kingsley’s advice to students wanting to attend college is to put all their effort into their work daily, and to not slack off.

“The effort you put into it you will need in college if you plan to go to college,” he says. “You can’t goof off. You really have to put your effort into it.”


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