Preya Singh | Aspiring young engineer hopes to start career trend of girls in STEM

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Aspiring Guyanese engineer Preya Singh

PREYA Singh grew up playing cricket and video games, watching wrestling and quickly outgrew the ‘I-want-a-doll-as-a-present/gift’ stage. She was always an odd girl, but it all moulded her into who she is today. Preya comes from a family of six. She has three siblings and her father is the sole breadwinner of our family. He was rarely home due to travelling for his job. Nonetheless, she had an incredible childhood and her parents always made sure that they never fell short of anything

She attended Blairmont Nursery School where she developed a love for Art (drawing) then she attended Blairmont Primary School. In 2012, she was chosen to represent her school at the Regional and National GT&T Spelling Bee competitions, where she attained first and second positions respectively. She also completed a computer literacy course. In April 2014, she was selected alongside another student to represent the school at the Regional and National Mathematics, Science and Technology Fair. Their project was a fascinating, economical recycling water-filtration system, which gained them first place regionally and second place nationally.

When Preya wrote the NGSA examinations, she gained 511 marks and was awarded a spot at the Bishops’ High School. However, she attended the New Amsterdam Multilateral School (NAMS). Her family didn’t approve of her living in the city at that age, neither did they have finances to move. At NAMS, she continued to excel in academics and also participated in extra-curricular activities. Singh represented the school and Berbice at the Inter-county Cricket Competition in 2017 and 2018. She’s beyond happy that she attended NAMS. This institution provides streaming options which offer foundations for various career paths. Preya chose the technical field because she always wanted to become an engineer. With hopes of joining the stream, she consulted its H.O.D; Sir Tamesh Mohabir and vividly remembered him telling her, “there are lots of things in store for you if you join tech.” He was not wrong about that. She is filled with gratitude that he was an influence and can’t thank him enough for being a remarkable teacher.

Some persons didn’t agree with her choice, but nonetheless, she went ahead to study the technology subjects, regardless. Her family members were supportive and are proud of her achievements thus far. Her father had some degree of influence on her career path choice as well, because he’d show her pictures of him working at various sites and she never ceased to be fascinated. She recently sat the CXC May/June Exams (2019) and attained Seven grade ones and Four grade twos. She also ranked seventh in the entire Caribbean for Mechanical Engineering at the CSEC examinations. Initially, she planned on studying Civil Engineering, but she has no problem pursuing Mechanical Engineering instead. After studying, she hopes to join ExxonMobil as a qualified and experienced engineer. Preya plans to attend the University of Guyana as of next year to further her studies in engineering.

This future engineer shared her advice for young people, especially girls who’d like to pursue STEM. She said, “I would encourage persons to pursue their dreams regardless of what people have to say because, in the future, they won’t be doing your job for you. So why not do something you love rather than unhappily and forcibly be doing what someone else prefers? There will always be persons spreading negative vibes, but all you need to do is ignore them and focus on achieving your goals. There will be challenges and times where you’d want to give up, but don’t. Remember why you started in the first place.” She continued by saying, “Work hard, be determined and success will be guaranteed. As for the girls that[sic] wish to join the technology stream in high school, it would definitely raise some eyebrows, but that’s totally normal. You will hear things like: “That stream is for the dunce,” or “Only boys are in there.” I encourage you to go for it. Don’t let anything anyone says hinder you from pursuing a career that you desire. The subjects in the stream aren’t easy. They entail a lot of practical and theoretical work, but if I can do it, so can you. Believe in yourself, study hard and worship God. I’ve recently been told by Joylyn Conway [Miss World Guyana, 2019] that I’ve become an inspiration for other girls to join STEM. Having heard that from her, it’s an absolute honour. It’s about time we eliminate gender stereotypes!”