HIS eyes bright behind his spectacles, arms waving for emphasis, Giovanni Rimann is a study in animation and determination as he shares his quest to make his family name a household one, while safeguarding their socio-economic future. “I want to create. I want to innovate. I want to be the best that I can be. I have a mother [who] tells me I am not an ordinary person. I have a younger brother looking up to me. I have a family name to make known,” he told the Jamaica Observer in a recent interview.
That he is only 18 years old and a recent graduate of Ardenne High School is no deterrent to the youth whose father is currently unemployed, and whose older sister recently had to drop out of college abroad due to an inability to pay the tuition.
If anything, his age gives him time within which to satisfy his goal of a career in economics, his passion for aviation and a profound interest in nanotechnology (where tiny particles are used to build mechanical parts, such as computer chips).
“The reason I am going into economics is to fund my real interest, which is aviation,” he tells Career & Educat ion matter-of-factly. “I see myself being able to own my own plane and doing whatever I want.”
So far, Rimann — the holder of distinctions in nine subjects from the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations — seems well on his way to realising his goals.
In the last year, the Woodford, east rural St Andrew resident has been attending the American International School of Kingston (AISK) on a full scholarship — one he applied for only a week shy of the deadline.
His attendance at AISK — where he not only studies and is on the High Honour Roll, but also coaches football, works in the science laboratory, tutors eighth graders, and is currently involved in rewriting the constitution for the student government — has provided an excellent conduit through which to realise his dreams
For one thing, his experience at the institution — which prides itself on delivering a dynamic curriculum to students from across the world, including the children of diplomats and others from the upper echelons of the society — has helped to broaden Rimann’s world view while fuelling his thirst for knowledge.
“I love it [attending AISK]; it has changed me. It has allowed me to see both sides of the spectrum. [At AISK], you have to be an ideal learner,” said the young man, who spends much of his days watching TEDTalks (free online inspirational speeches in technology, entertainment and design done by the world’s greatest innovators), reading the greatest-ever speeches known to man and getting up to date on news on world economics.
Beyond the exposure he has been privy to at AISK — where the tuition for students in grades nine through to 12 is more than US$14,000 ($1.2 million) a year — Rimann said the school has helped make him a shoo-in for acceptance to his university of choice — New York University (NYU) Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, which he said should prove ideal for him.
“I want to study economics, international affairs and nanotechnology and this [university] would provide everything that covers all my interests while travelling,” said Rimann, who counts among his CSEC subjects biology, chemistry, physics, English language, French, geography, information technology, mathematics, and technical drawing (building).
The teen has been nominated by AISK to attend NYU Abu Dhabi on a full scholarship. As part of the application process, he had to submit a 500-word essay and opted to look at the topic “How would nanotechnology help Abu Dhabi reach their 2030 goal for a sustainable economy?”. He wrote 800 words; such is his interest in the emerging feild.
Rimann should know in December whether he has got in, having completed the early decision application.
Meanwhile, he is to attend Bentley University — one of the United States’ leading business schools — for a summer Wall Street training programme, made possible through financing from Konnexx Services, where he is doing a stint as a project assistant with the Konnecting Minds programme that provides a diverse group of Jamaican youth with job experience.
In addition to helping him save for his numerous other college applications — in case NYU Abu Dhabi does not pan out — his work with Konnexx Services is also providing him with more exposure to nanotechnology.
“That’s why I am here at Konnexx with solar nanotechnology. When I go back to AISK in September, the school will give me an opportunity to do an internal audit to adopt solar nanotechnology for the school and I’m going to be the project manager,” Rimann said.
He will simultaneously work on his extended essay as part of the requirements for his International Baccalaureate diploma programme, which is undertaken at AISK. The title of that essay is “How does the foreign exchange rate between Jamaica and Japan affect the export of coffee to Japan?”.
“I’ll have to go to UWI on weekends [to do research because] the first draft of the essay is due on August 22,” he told Career & Education.
As part of his research efforts for that paper, he will also intern with the Mavis Bank Coffee Factory following his return from Bentley University. Also this summer, Rimann is applying to RedBook to work as a junior data analyst. And amidst all of this, Rimann — who studied at the ground school of the Caribbean Aviation Training Centre as a young teen — will find the time to work with the Boscobel Jamaica Airshow in order to indulge his passion for flying.
“I don’t go to parties on weekends. I am consumed by work, but it’s not forced upon me; this [work] is what consumes me,” explained Rimann, who said he will “go days without sleep” in order to complete assignments.
Still, the young man who has represented Jamaica at the Global Young Leaders Conference, said his life to date has not been all work and no play — though the ‘play’ has complemented his academic pursuits well.
While at Ardenne, he was a part of the school’s swim team, as well as a member of the Blue Seals swim team and the debating club, and has been involved in community service in Gordon Town. He also holds a first degree black belt in karate from the Fushin Karate School.