Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 14th 2015 Contents A25
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Amazon Studios is delivering Woody
Allen as creator of his first-ever TV
The Oscar-winning filmmaker will
write and direct all of the episodes of
the half-hour series. A full season has
been ordered for Amazon's Prime
Instant Video, the company announced
Tuesday. The series is expected to
premiere in 2016.
No details on casting were disclosed,
nor was the series title announced.
Amazon Studios vice president Roy
Price called Allen "a visionary creator
who has made some of the greatest
films of all time," keeping him "at the
creative forefront of American cinema"
during a career that spans 50 years.
"I don't know how I got into this,"
the 79-year-old Allen said in a wryly
modest statement. "I have no ideas
and I'm not sure where to begin. My
guess is that Roy Price will regret this."
Allen's signing adds another coat of
luster to Amazon Studios, a recent
entrant in the world of streaming
video that is redefining what
"television" means. (AP)
GML Enterprise Desk
There s one word to describe
19-year-old national schol-
arship winner Esther Pope---inspi-
rational. During a visit to her home
in an area formerly known as "Hell-
yard" in Beetham Gardens, this
reporter was greeted warmly by
many residents, all of whom said
they are proud of her achievements.
Long stigmatised by society, these
"Hellyard" residents also wanted
other people to know that good
things come out of Beetham Gar-
A track leads to Pope s home, and
when she walked out, many of the
children in the community gathered
around her, glowing with pride.
Many of them who say they want
to follow in her footsteps listened
attentively as she spoke during this
Pope firmly believes that "despite
where you come from or what you
are going through, you can achieve
Shy, humble and soft-spoken,
Pope said her inspiration comes from
seeing what her parents had to go
through and the struggles she and
her siblings faced daily.
With six siblings on her father s
side and three on her mother s side,
she said things were stretched thin.
She was raised by her mother and
some of her siblings in a two-bed-
room home, while her father and
other siblings lived elsewhere.
Pope admitted that growing up
in Beetham Gardens community was
not easy. Many times there would
be loud knockings on her door as
police officers swooped down on the
community during regular raids. The
sound of gunshots would also prove
to be nerve-wracking. But despite
the negatives, Pope has no regrets
that she grew up in that community.
In fact, she claimed that the nega-
tives portrayed about her community
were in the minority.
Pope attended St Francois Girls
College in Belmont. She is one of
six additional scholarship winners
from her school this year. Pope was
awarded a scholarship in the field
of natural sciences, and she plans
to start her studies at the UWI
School of Medicine next year. She
hopes to become a paediatrician.
Meanwhile, as she waits to start
university, Pope has found herself a
job. "I have already worked at the
Loveuntil Foundation in Laventille.
It was while working there I got the
news about the scholarship."
So how did she feel when she got
the news? Her face lit up as she
recalled the moment. "I was both
shocked and excited."
Exactly what has inspired
Pope to achieve?
"Firstly, God and knowing the
many struggles I see daily in my
community," she said, "plus, the
struggles my family had to go
through each day. Although the neg-
ative was always there, I kept focused
on my goals and ensured that my
education was top priority."
This young achiever feels a strong
need to give back to her community.
She has been running a summer
school for the children of Beetham
Gardens and dedicates time many
evenings to help some of them with
She said, "I started a summer
school downstairs of my father s
home with my sister, encouraging
many of the young ones to be able
to get extra classes. Since the school
was established, I have seen many
of the children now progressing in
their schoolwork. I hope next sum-
mer we can have the same classes
again, which will benefit so many
of the young ones in Beetham Gar-
A God-fearing soul, Pope always
placed her trust in God. Although
she was not a member of any
church, she always had faith and the
conviction that she would overcome
the many struggles which she and
her family faced.
Pope loves a good lime with her
family and going to the movies. And
even those, she said, were few. "I
never went out much, most of the
time I am home and even when I
am home, I am inside."
So what are her plans
for the future?
"I have my goals and aspirations
to become a paediatrician. However,
I want to do more work within my
community, focusing on the younger
ones to help them accomplish their
goals, and also be a role model to
the older people in my communi-
ty."Pope has never had a role model.
For her, life s journey has always
been about making a better life for
herself and those she loves.
"Just seeing my family go through
certain struggles, I just wanted a
better life for myself and my parents,"
she said. "Also, I knew if I could do
better I would help my mother and
father and take them on the journey
with me to experience something
better in life than just poverty and
having financial problems."
Even with the perception of neg-
ativity in her hometown, Pope said
she never experienced peer pressure
to get involved in any bad habits or
face negative influences.
"It was not hard, since I don t
really socialise much outside. I do
(socialise), however, with my family
and a few friends." For her, friends
must be chosen wisely. "Firstly, I
assess whether they are positive and
have the same aspiration or are moti-
vated to achieve despite the situation
they are in."
"Choose people with the same
goals as you. Separate yourself from
She does admit, however, that she
is concerned about the state of crime
in the country. Many believe that
"Hellyard" is unique with this prob-
lem, but Pope staunchly believes,
"It s not my community alone but
the whole of T&T, because crime
does not (only) happen here---it may
be at a larger scale in these areas,
but there are so many positives that
are not highlighted."
And that s where Pope is hoping
she can make a difference.
"In a few years, I would like to
become a paediatrician and I think
this will impact the country, espe-
cially children, as I want to focus on
developing strategies to assist them
health-wise. Also to mentor children
and let them understand that any-
thing is possible, once you put your
mind and heart to it."
What first inspired her to become
a doctor was seeing both her grand-
mothers suffering from diabetes.
"I remember feeling helpless. I
told my grandmother I was going
I could help people."
Amazon signs Woody Allen to create his first TV series
Esther Pope said she didn't have a mentor as a child, so she devotes some of her time to ensuring that young
people in her area are given some advice and guidance.
Continues on Page A26
for me, T&T!
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