Guyana Times reporter receives first ever Hughes Scholarship
After earning her place in this year’s University of Guyana law programme, Guyana Times reporter Paula Gomes was on Friday awarded the first ever Clarence A F Hughes scholarship for Indigenous students pursuing an LLB.
This is as the Amerindian People’s Association (APA) seeks to secure sponsorship for Indigenous students to ensure that high flyers are given the opportunity to chase after advanced levels of education.
Shortly after gaining entry to the UG LLB programme, Gomes, who hails from Paramakatoi Village in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni), reached out to the APA for financial aid as she reads for her LLB.
As a result of her request, the representative body of Indigenous peoples extended her application to the Hughes, Fields & Stoby Law Firm who responded favourable.
The 20-year-old is now the first ever recipient of this scholarship which provides full funding for the education of promising Indigenous youths who will be embarking on the journey of becoming an Attorney.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony which was hosted at the office of the law firm, Attorney Nigel Hughes, congratulated the young reporter, alluding to the longstanding relationship his firm shares with the APA.
The Attorney went on to say that, “I am happy to say that the APA contacted us last week and they identified what I believe is the best candidate to pursue an LLB course at the University of Guyana and as a result of our collaboration, Hughes, Fields & Stoby have agreed to fund the entire law programme for Ms Gomes.”
He pointed out that Gomes’ outstanding results at the Caribbean Examination Council examination was a positive factor leading to the award of the scholarship. “She will perform extraordinarily well and we are honoured and privileged to have been afforded this opportunity to provide this scholarship for Miss Gomes.”
Meanwhile, in her address at the ceremony, awardee Paula Gomes extended gratitude to both the law firm and the APA while highlighting the significance of this contribution, especially as it relates to the development of the first peoples of Guyana.
On that note, Gomes stated, “while I applaud the generosity of Mr Hughes and his law firm, I believe that there should be more awards of this kind for I know of many Indigenous persons who are not able to realise and unleash their full potentials simply because of financial constraints.”
With that being said, the aspiring lawyer assured that the investment will have a significant ripple effect on her community and the first peoples at large. She even offered words of advice to others looking to follow in her footsteps by saying, “Being an Indigenous person and being someone who truly knows the struggles of Indigenous peoples, I would like them (other Indigenous students) to know that the opportunities are endless if only you reach out far enough.”
The scholarship awarded to Gomes marks the first award to be made in honour of the late Attorney, Clarence A F Hughes and sets the way for others to benefit, with talks of it becoming an annual initiative.
Best Guyanese Law Student receives Guyana Prize
Best Guyanese graduating student at the Hugh Wooding Law School, Latoya Roberts, received her Guyana Government Prize for 2016.
The Guyana Government Prize is a mark of distinction awarded to the best graduating Guyanese law student.
During the handing over ceremony yesterday , at the Ministry of Legal Affairs, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams, Senior Counsel (SC), applauded Roberts for her consistent excellence throughout her school years.
Minister Williams highlighted government’s commitment to promoting and encouraging academic excellence among all Guyanese students.
Attorney-at law Roberts, is currently employed in private practice. She said that she is still deciding what areas of law she would like to specialise in.
Roberts said that having a law school in Guyana is the way to go because having gone through the system, she now understands the hardship that law students face while studying at the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad.
“There is also the talk of having too many lawyers, but I believe that Guyana is on the verge, once guided correctly, and in the right direction for so much development, we will need lawyers if we learn to specialise and diversify,” Roberts said.
The attorney said that lawyers can contribute significantly to Guyana’s development hence, a local law school will be a plus for the country.
Roberts attended the Sand Hills Nursery and Primary Schools in Vreed-en-Rust, West Bank Demerara, where she grew up. She also attended the North Georgetown Secondary School where she wrote the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) graduating as valedictorian of her class, receiving passes in nine subjects.
She then attended President’s College as a Sixth Form student and successfully graduated from that intuition as the valedictorian also.
In 2006, she entered the University of Guyana to read for the LLB degree, and in 2010, she graduated. In 2014, with the help of relatives and friends she was able to attend the Hugh Wooding Law School and graduated in 2016 as Best Graduating Guyanese student. (GINA)
- The University of Guyana