President’s Gold Medal winner Amrita Singh is urging all of Trinidad and Tobago’s young girls to keep pushing and never give up on their dreams.
Speaking to Guardian Media last evening after copping the highest award for the Advanced Proficiency Exams (A Levels), Singh said, “There is nothing that a woman can’t do that a man can do. We are equally as strong and powerful and we are making our mark in the world in the way that we are going.”
The former Lakshmi Girls’ Hindu College student shared the accolade alongside former St Joseph’s Convent, San Fernando student Sadhana Balladin.
Singh admitted she was still in shock over the news delivered by Education Minister Anthony Garcia during a press conference yesterday.
“I feel so overwhelmed. It’s still sinking in. Maybe by tomorrow it would really hit me but I am happy, overwhelmed and all of the good emotions,” she said.
Singh said she was asleep when she was awakened last evening by several calls from her former teacher and mother who told her the news.
“My teacher called me and my mom was walking in the door so they sort of told me at the same time,” Singh said with a smile.
A proud mother Maria Singh also couldn’t believe it.
“It’s very overwhelming, it’s still a shock, a surprise. We weren’t quite expecting this. A scholarship, yes - but not this.”
But the achievement, Amrita said, did not come without its sacrifices.
“I don’t think I can quantify it. It was a lot of long nights and a lot of effort, and writing essays and making notes because that was my method of studying. It was a big, long, hard process but it definitely paid off in the end,” she said.
Amrita proudly said the achievement came without any extra lessons.
“I did no extra lessons whatsoever for these past two years. Any work that I would have learnt would have been in school from my teachers, who taught me and from the textbooks that we had and the notes I would have made from that. No lessons!’’
Her mother also said she had her fair share of sacrifices as well, but it was necessary.
“It goes hand in hand. A child will do the work but they need support in the home and without getting that love, care and attention and 100 per cent attention from the home, I believe it would be very difficult for a child to succeed at this level,” the elder Singh said.
Maria told other parents to continue supporting their child, give them love, care and attention and always talk to them to find out what’s happening in their lives and they too can be successful. “
Always keep that conversation going. You always need to encourage the child and let him or her know they can achieve anything they put their mind to,” she said.
Amrita is currently pursuing a degree in Business Management at the School of Accounting and Management (SAMS), after which she has her sights set on doing a masters degree in either the fields of tourism or human resource management. She is the fourth person to receive the award for her alma mater, Lakshmi Girls’ Hindu College and will be joining her past classmates at the graduation ceremony on Wednesday.
- by Rishard Khan. Photo by Anisto Alves.