From homeless to ‘Howard’
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Moriah Hamilton (second, right), with her mother, Carol Hamilton, and brothers, Jude (left) and Micah (right) Hamilton
Moriah Hamilton (second, right), with her mother, Carol Hamilton, and brothers, Jude (left) and Micah (right) Hamilton

—aspiring engineer braves life’s hurdles, seeks public help to realise dream

LIFE for 19-year-old Moriah Hamilton has always been far from a typical walk in the park. In fact, according to the teen, her journey has been rough, fraught with financial difficulties and unfortunate circumstances.

Over the years, she has faced a rollercoaster of endless hurdles and challenges, and after being homeless twice in her young life, attending university had seemed virtually impossible; yet, today she stands a proud recipient of a partial scholarship to one of the highest-ranking STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) universities in America. Now, she needs only US$26,000 to secure her scholarship, and attend the prestigious Howard University.

Moriah attributes her success and the preservation of her dream to her stubbornness, passion and dedication, as well as to the invaluable support of her mother.
“From my childhood days up until now, my single-parent mother, Carol Hamilton, stressed the importance of education, and sacrificed the wealth of her years to ensure my two brothers, Jude and Micah, and I, could have access to knowledge and resources that would ensure our success,” she explained at the launch of her scholarship fundraiser.

Giving insight to her intellectual background, Hamilton detailed that despite remaining at the top of her class throughout primary school, she was not fortunate enough to land a spot at one of the country’s top schools. However, she made a commitment to herself to excel throughout secondary school as well, despite some challenges– being forced to be absent quite often and her dire housing situation.

When she wrote the Caribbean Secondary Entrance Examinations (CSEC) in 2018, she gained six Grade Ones and two Grade Twos, upon which she was granted admission at Queen’s College, to pursue subjects at the CAPE level.

In her first year at Queen’s College, she achieved first place on the Caribbean merit list for Green Engineering at the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), where she scored the only Grade One in the subject area; and in her second year (CAPE Unit Two), she achieved fourth place in the Caribbean.

“My achievements have enabled me to stand as a proud anomaly, a symbol of diversity in the STEM field, and a beacon for individuals who strive to reach their fullest potentials, despite the communities or identities that are ‘supposed to’ determine the extent of your success,” Hamilton proudly declared.

“I actively propel this narrative through my volunteerism and activism, in a series of groups and initiatives which encourage youths, like myself, to invest in sustainable futures.”
Her mother, Carol, noted that the journey throughout the years has been challenging, not only for her and Moriah, but for Moriah’s older brothers, who serve as her role models as well.

“It was always an upward struggle to bring my daughter, and my children in general… but through it all, I knew that I wanted them to have tertiary education, and a good, solid primary and secondary education. I never knew what angle it would’ve taken, or how I would have gotten it done, but… determination was one of my things. Always. So I pushed against the odds,” she said.
The mother beseeched persons to open their hearts and contribute towards the total amount needed to guarantee Moriah’s university scholarship.

She stated that Moriah’s attendance at Howard would be a privilege and an honour to their family, and noted that she would be ecstatic to have the achievement be part of their family’s story.
Moriah volunteers a great portion of her time with the Youth in Natural Resources (YNR) initiative, which lobbies for the sustainable development and education about Guyana’s Natural Resources; as a Climate Change youth ambassador for UNICEF Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE), which endorses climate change initiatives in the Caribbean, and the Girl Build Girl Foundation, which promotes women empowerment.

Her activism is exercised through her Instagram page @green_tea_gy, which enlightens Guyanese and Caribbean youths on ideas and issues in the sectors of green engineering, sustainable development, and environmental activism.

Through her volunteerism, activism, and education at Howard University, she has pledged to be an agent of change, not only in her community, but in Guyana’s green and sustainable development.

“Indeed, my story is not unique, as it echoes the aspirations of many young girls and boys throughout Guyana who dare to dream,” she concluded. “I hope that the Guyanese people will be inspired by my story and help me to fulfil my dream to attend Howard University.”

At Howard University, Moriah will be pursuing a Major in Civil and Environmental Engineering, as well as a Minor degree in Communication studies.

Persons desirous of assisting her may contact her on 689-8572, Patrick Stephens, the fundraiser’s organizer, at 688-3760; or visit the GoFundMe page: https://gofund.me/d63fe5d4.

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