Georgetown, Guyana – (August 26, 2016)
First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger was, today, paid a courtesy call by Guyana’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) top performer, Ms. Fatima Karim and her mother, Mrs. Khadijah Karim at the Office of the First Lady at State House.
The First Lady said that she was happy to meet with Ms. Karim and was also excited to hear, not only of her achievements at this year’s CSEC examinations, but of the young woman’s aspirations in petroleum engineering, in light of Guyana’s future in the oil and gas sector.
“I was very excited to learn that that was her interest, because she is not only entering a field that is new to Guyana but as a female, she is entering a field in which women have not really taken part so I congratulated her on it,” Mrs. Granger said.
The First Lady added that she knows that while there may be challenges that will come as Ms. Karim pursues this career, she is certain that she will bring her own skills and perspective to the work. Mrs. Granger also encouraged Ms. Karim that, even as she focuses on her academics, to also focus on enjoying life. “[She should] have fun with it and remember that life is more than just work. I wish her all the success and I hope she does great things,” the First Lady said.
Ms. Karim said that she was very excited to meet and speak with the First Lady, who she said is one of her role models. The St. Rose’s High School student received much public attention after topping the country with 19 Grade Ones and One Grade Two at the CSEC Examinations. She said that she felt proud that she was able to achieve such results, explaining that it called for her to balance her academic pursuits with her co-curricular activities.
“It’s about knowing yourself; knowing how much you needed to study. I knew I had to study at least once a week for each subject, so I can still talk with my friends and do other things,” she said. Offering words of encouragement to other students, Ms. Karim said that as they aspire to their academic heights, the key is to believe that they can do it. She cited the words of another one of her role models, Ms. Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani activist and youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who said, “Let us make our future now and make our dreams tomorrow’s reality”. She said that these words help to motivate her, and in turn, she wishes to motivate students that if they believe that they can achieve a certain goal, then they should strive to do so at all costs.
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