Top Guyanese student off to Africa

By RON FANFAIR

She shared the top academic marks for Guyanese students sitting this year’s Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) with a Queen’s College schoolmate.

Now Wallisa Roberts is off to Liberia for a three-month volunteer project before returning to Guyana in December to pursue a career in the medical field.

The Queen’s College Alumni chapter in Toronto honoured Roberts last Friday at a Scarborough restaurant. She vacationed here for a few days before flying out to Monrovia last Saturday night.

The 18-year-old received outstanding grades in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Maths and Caribbean Studies in the examination which is the equivalent to the Advanced Level General Certificate of Education which was offered by the British to Caribbean students three decades ago.

“I was confident that I would do well but I was so excited when one of the local newspapers called to say that I was one of just two Guyanese students with the highest marks,” said Roberts, who was recently baptized at the First Assembly of God church. “I am normally a cool individual who do not get excited by many things, but I could not contain my emotion when I got the good news through the media. It meant that all the hard work and long hours of studying I had put in had paid off. This is however the beginning of a journey and I know that the best of me is yet to come.”

Roberts attributed much of her success to the support she received from her parents.

“My dad loves Maths and he would always push me to do better,” she said. “They also enrolled me in classes to get the additional help I needed. The large syllabus did not allow the teachers to cover it in a short period so any extra help one could get outside the classroom was very beneficial.”

Roberts, who aspires to be a surgeon, has applied to St. George’s University in Grenada and the American University of Antigua College of Medicine.

“I have always liked the sciences and the challenges associated with the field,” she said. “I also like to help people so I know I am making the right career decision.”

While in Liberia with an aunt who is a United Nations employee, Roberts will engage in short-term volunteer opportunities that will help to enrich her life by assisting communities.

“This is something I am looking forward to because it’s not just a vacation,” added Roberts who attended Bishops High School for five years where she passed 12 subjects at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate exam two years ago. “This will give me the chance to learn and appreciate another culture and also make an impact on other people’s lives in some small way.”

Roberts transferred to Queen’s College because Bishops does not offer science subjects at the CAPE level.

To celebrate her remarkable achievement, the school’s alumni chapter in Toronto presented Roberts with a gift package and school memorabilia.

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