“I say no matter your situation in life you can achieve as long as you believe and is willing to endure the challenges” - The journey to becoming a doctor by D’oyen Nelson
19 year old UWI 1st year medical student, Doyen Nelson is the 2010 recipient of the Bruce Rickards Scholarship. The annual scholarship, which is in its 9th year, is awarded by the Grace Kennedy Foundation to a KC student of outstanding academic achievement, in memory of the first chairman of the Kingston College Development Trust Fund (KCDTF), Bruce Rickards, who was also a manger at Grace Kennedy and also a director of the Foundation. The Scholarship which is awarded to Bruce Rickards’ alma-mater was first announced by the Chairman of the Foundation, Douglas Orane at Rickards’ funeral at the St Andrew Parish Church in 2001.
When D’oyen passed the GSAT for KC in the summer of 2003, he broke down and cried. It was tears of joy and triumph, the fulfillment of a dream to go to the famed college of the purple and whites. The community of Minto in the remote Blue Mountains bordering St Thomas, joined with the orphan in the moment of jubilation. It marked the beginning of a trek and driven by an “Inward Hunger’, the humble lad entered the hallowed portals of Kingston College in the Michaelmas term of 2003. In reflecting on his sojourn to KC, Doyen writing an article entitled, ‘The Journey to becoming a doctor’ for KCOBA Jamaica souvenir journal ’Fortis Flame’ wrote : My aunt and uncles helped along the way and the Old Boys Association gave me a scholarship that took me through school. But despite this there were many days when I went without food and bus fare but this did not deter me because I had and still have a dream to fulfill.
During my life I travelled from Minto where only one bus ran early and late and even so I would have to walk for miles to catch water to have a bath and walk miles to get a bus by about five in the morning and during the evening. Sometimes I would reach home about midnight and at the same time I was deeply involved in school activities including being house captain of Nethersole.
Despite the challenges and hardships, the lad was able to combine a number of punishing extra-curricular activities with excellent academic work which make him a potential Rhodes Scholar. Consider the following list of some of his achievements at KC :
House captain of Nethersole; President of the Science Club; Member of ISCF, Tourism and Writers’ Clubs; Reserve of the Schools’ Challenge Quiz Team; Member the Debating Team 2009/10; Vice President of the Student Council for two years; Tried out for the School’s Basketball Team; Represented Jamaica in a Youth Science Forum in Trinidad and Tobago in 2010; Represented his class in football and track and field.
In the CXC examinations he attained 10 passes in chemistry, biology, physics, information technology, French, social studies, maths, English language, English literature & geography. (8 at grade one and 2 at grade two).
In CAPE 1&2 he achieved passes in chemistry, physics, biology and communication &Caribbean studies.
D’oyen is a devout Baptist, and lists playing football and watching television amongst his hobbies. When he went for the scholarship interview at Grace Kennedy’s Harbour Street office, a member of the Foundation said she was very impressed because, “for the first time a student handed us his curriculum vitae!” Members of the Foundation were further touched, when on receipt of the award, he walked all the way downtown to the office to personally deliver a thank you letter.
The Bruce Rickards Scholarship alternates between UWI and UTECH and mainly covers tuition and can be extended to cover books, boarding and other costs depending on the circumstances of the student. Nelson’s medical scholarship is for five years at JA$400,000 per annum. He looks forward to being a surgeon.
This is the 9th year of the Bruce Rickards Scholarship and the eight recipients who preceded Nelson were:
Greg Walcom, 2002 - He studied law at UWI Mona and Cave Hill and obtained LLB Degree Upper Second Class Honours. He is presently in private practice.
Dwayne Morrell, 2003- When he was awarded the scholarship, he was a third year business administration student at UTECH majoring in production and operations management. He graduated with a BBA degree in 2004/05.
Dwayne Burrowes, 2004- The headboy of 2002/03, completed his BSc degree in mechanical engineering from UWI, St. Agustine in 2005/06.
Junior Gowie, 2005- The UTECH mechanical engineering student recently completed his 4 year degree programme at that University.
Asad McKenzie, 2006 - Completed his final year at Mona when he attained a BSc degree in the Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences.
Andre Campbell, 2007- He is now a final year mechanical engineering student at UTECH.
Roger Grant, 2008 - Currently a final year UWI student in the Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences at Mona.
Francois Graham, 2009 - Currently a third year student pursuing a BSc degree in Computing at UTECH.