2010 Scholarship Recipient

Zaheer Robinson, University of West Indies, Jamaica


Without a doubt many Jamaicans including myself crave for a better way of life, less corruption and a better and safer Jamaica. These dreams seem impossible at times with escalating crime levels, increase unemployment, low economic growth, balance of trade problems, a weaker dollar and the mismanagement of public funds by our government officials. Despite these obstacles, I am certain that my education will assist me to contribute to the social and economic development of Jamaica.

After completing my studies I am positive that my education will go a far way in helping me to better Jamaica. Currently being enrolled to the University of the West Indies has unlocked my leadership qualities, and has made me a problem solver. I believe that Jamaica’s biggest problems stem from the poor leadership qualities and problems solving inconsistency displayed by our leaders. Thus, with my education I intend to become a leader by starting a beverage firm locally to create employment, enhance economic growth and most of all provide Jamaica’s lost minds with opportunities.

Many people have suggested that starting a firm will always be a dream with the current obstacles such as high inflation rate, the rapid depreciating of the local dollar, the bureaucratic red tapes and the local financial institutions who are loan sharks. However, I laugh whenever people make these comments because my education has assisted me to think outside the box and as such starting a firm will be difficult but will be done even in the face of adversity. What many people do not know is that education makes you think rational and reduces your arrogance. So maybe a few years back I would have thought that starting a business would be unfeasible but now being more educated I know it will happen it’s just a matter of time.

Secondly, education has made me more responsible and respectful for authority, which is what I think many Jamaicans lack. Prior to the university I had little or no respect for some of my teachers, peers or neighbours. I was accustom to playing Vybz Kartel and Mavado songs which accentuated violence and the use of profane languages in my community without considering how others feel about the music I was playing. But thanks to my education I am now respectful for other people opinions even if it conflicts with my lifestyle or philosophy.

Thirdly, despite my financial difficulties education has allowed me to give back to my high school in the form of counseling and educational support for students. I know how frustrating it can be for students enrolled at high school and experiencing family and financial difficulties simultaneously. Therefore, reducing the possibility of more lost minds in Jamaica and helping others to find their way out of negativity are my objectives. The late Christopher Wallace better known as Notorious BIG once said “your brain is a terrible thing to waste”, and I believe so, hence putting my mine towards positivity and the development of Jamaica is of utmost importance to me.

Moreover, being a role model for children is an additional benefit that will arise because of my education. Over the years, Jamaica’s children are known to glorify entertainers who promote violence and sexual promiscuity and as consequence in my capacity as an intellect I will always encourage children to stay in school to enhance their educational credentials. I hope to be an exemplification to our youths that they cannot make it from rags to riches without being involved in crime or getting their hands dirty.

Finally, I am one year away from graduating from the University of the West Indies and I know after graduation I will become one year smarter. Thus, putting my education and skills to entrepreneurial activities to promote economic stability among Jamaicans is a dream of mine which I hope to achieve within the next five years. I once heard that the western hemisphere business leaders think about the next quarter in the financial year whereas the Asians focus on the next quarter of a century, and this is the philosophy that will help me to promote a better Jamaica to our business and political leaders.