Graduates of the St Augustine High School (SAGHS) are hoping they can live up to the advice given to them today at their graduation on Thursday.
Graduates Naila Badre-Maharaj and Amelia Kelly, who are currently first-year University of the West Indies medical sciences students at Mt Hope, said they intend to be agents of change in Trinidad and Tobago.In an interview after the graduation ceremony, Badree-Maharaj told the T&T Guardian, “I want to do a lot of volunteer work. Med Sci already is a very gratifying field, you know? So I’m really excited and looking forward to those opportunities.”
She added: “It fills your heart, honestly, it is very gratifying. Seeing the difference you can make in someone’s life, especially after the flood. In Mt Hope we had a flood drive…it’s been really life-changing to see how your small change, how it can impact these people’s lives.”
Kelly, who initially had dreams of becoming a chef, has bigger aspirations and now envisages herself working with the United Nations and Doctors Without Borders after she finishes medical school but also donates her energy to helping others.
“Even in med school there are all these clubs we take part in like Roteract, Leadership Council – they all do a lot of volunteer work.”
Gabrielle Balgobin, who is currently taking a year off from studying to write the SAT examination, meanwhile hopes to get into the field of computer science.
“I think that’s a fast growing field and I want to go into cybersecurity and cryptocurrency.”
Asked what she intends to do after accomplishing this, she said, “Well I think Trinidad needs it so I’m hoping to come back here and open up my own firm, offer consultant services, especially to all the banks and government sectors because you see people like Scotiabank always getting hacked and I think cybersecurity is a field that people in Trinidad don’t really acknowledge too much and we really need to get with the times and the systems.”
Sushmita Samsundar, who won five awards on the day, said she intends to get into bio-medical surgery or medicine and hopefully do research into genetics with a focus on cancer and cell biology.Speaking to the students at the graduation ceremony, School Supervisor III Joy Griffith told the young women, “If it’s one thing you remember when you leave here this morning, is each one of you has something special to offer that will benefit Trinidad and Tobago.
“I am depending on you girls to use what you have received at St Augustine Girls’ High School to solve some of the ills of our nation. You have what it takes to bring out the engineering designs to alleviate flooding…to do what it takes to ensure every home gets a decent home living.”
Also speaking to the students was GDM Ltd. director Neisha Ghany, who gave the students the hope to accomplish their goals. “In today’s world, you have to agree that much of the ‘glass ceiling’ has been shattered by those who have gone before. So many of the fixed notions of career and success have been debunked that you are now freer than ever to choose your own way,” Ghany said.
“Make some quiet time to search your mind and your heart and see what thoughts, beliefs and perspectives define you currently. Choose the ones you want to keep and move past those that are holding you back.”
- by Nishard Khan. Photo by Nicole Drayton.