Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 8th 2014 Contents A34
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, November 8, 2014
What advice can you give to young students like
Dream big! Shoot for the moon, and even if you
miss, you ll land among the stars. Secondly, success
doesn t come easy. You have to make sacrifices to
reap the rewards.
Who contributed to your success? How?
God has definitely contributed to my success. I
strongly believe that a spiritual background and a
relationship with God is a necessity to succeed. Sec-
ondly, my parents, Raymond and Hyacinth Patrick,
and my brother, Nku Patrick, contributed significantly.
And my teachers. There are so many teachers that
had a positive impact on my success.
What contribution do you hope to make for our
country? What are the biggest challenges facing
T&T at this time?
I think that technology is heavily under-utilised
in the education system in T&T so if I can make an
impact in this area, I ll be happy. I m hoping to make
educational apps that simplify the learning process
in core subjects such as mathematics, science and
What recommendations can you make to improve
our educational system?
There should be an emphasis to promote innovation
rather than the consumption of information. The
current education system produces students who are
extremely good at cramming and regurgitating infor-
mation but who are unable to think critically and
logically. Secondly, extra lessons are the main avenue
to do well at examinations; however, a lot of the
poorer students are unable to afford extra lessons.
Therefore, this creates a vicious cycle where the
poorer students find it difficult to excel academically
and compete with the richer students. Thirdly, tech-
nical vocational subjects should be expanded so that
students who are not academically inclined can still
Why study ICT?
ICT, specifically computer science, is a burgeoning
field. Every industry requires a computer scientist
so a computer scientist is never short of job options.
In America, there is a big startup culture and most
of these startups are tech related. These startups are
owned by some of the richest people in the world.
For example, Snapchat, the popular picture messaging
service, was a final computer science project of a
couple of Stanford seniors who are now multi bil-
What has been your experience as a Caribbean
student at Harvard?
So far, unbelievable! I ve met so many brilliant
students who are willing to share their knowledge.
There is a big collaboration culture here, which is a
boon to my experience. My roommate has his own
software company and has already written a computer
science book. I ve met someone who speaks 26 lan-
guages and the top astrophysics student in the world.
Harvard also is the number one ranked national
squash team in the country and the squash team has
made my transition to college very smooth.
Have you faced any discrimination at the col-
Thus far, I have not faced any discrimination as
a Caribbean student. I must admit my accent is hard
to understand for most, but everyone has treated me
very well. I ve made some great friends and I feel
Do you think you will find love at Harvard?
If I can find a girl who can actually understand
my accent and what I am saying half of the time,
finding love here at Harvard is a possibility, haha. I
can t predict what the future will bring but I will
admit Harvard girls can t compete with Trini girls.
Trini girls are the best!
What life lessons have you learnt so far at
The main lesson I have learnt is that in order
to succeed here, you have to reach out for help.
Never be ashamed to say you don t understand
a concept because no one judges you and all
are willing to help you till you get it.
What do you miss most about T&T?
Trini culture and music is what I miss the
most. Since I grew up singing and listening
to calypso and soca music, they have become
part of my identity. I miss Trinidadian parties
because soca music is all the DJs play. Every
Carnival Tuesday I would go with my dad and
my brother to watch mas however, I will have
to do without Carnival for the next four years
because Carnival occurs during the height of
my squash season. I miss Trinidadian food
like bake and shark, doubles, roti, crab and
dumpling. The food here is okay but it can t
compete with Trinidadian food. There are also
no Caribbean restaurants near Harvard so it
has been a struggle and I miss Matouk s
Ketchup as Heinz Ketchup ain t cutting it. I
also miss my family and friends because they
actually understand me and I can totally be
myself around them.
Top Cape student gives insight into success
• From Page A31
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