Racqueish Robinson - Born for scienceSunday, June 20, 2021
BY CANDICE HAUGHTON
TWO weeks ago when Racqueish Robinson received news about participating in a summer youth science camp as an international delegate in West Virginia, a feeling of exhilaration overcame her.
Now, the Ardenne High sixth-form student is most looking forward to lectures and interacting with people from different cultural backgrounds, despite the camp being virtual this year due to the pandemic.
“I was excited and surprised,” Robinson said, as she continued to explain that she needed to do extremely well in both her academics and extracurricular activities to participate as an international delegate.
Robinson, who has 10 distinctions in Caribbean Secondary Examination Council (CSEC) and six distinctions in Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) unit one, also found time to complete over 20 hours of community service at Hope Zoo, as well as tutoring her fellow schoolmates from grades eight to 11.
“I decided to tutor them because I really wanted to help my fellow students at my school, because I understand it can be really hard to learn something from a teacher who doesn't match your learning style,” Robinson told Career & Education.
Her upcoming international youth camp will not be the first time Robinson stepped on the international stage, as she was also an international delegate to the United Nations (UN) 10th Anniversary Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum in April of this year; which she describes as “very insightful”.
“It was very insightful and informative [because] of some of the issues that were brought forward by some of the youth delegates. It opened my mind to a whole new perspective and it really encouraged me to see that there are organisations like the UN that actually care about the opinion of younger people and are willing to put that towards developing the policies that would guide the world going forward,” Robinson stated.
She further stated that her love for the environment is one of the main reasons she aspires to be an engineer.
“I believe for Jamaica to move forward as a nation, something that we really need to take into consideration is [environmental] development and I hope to help Jamaica achieve that goal through engineering,” she explained. “As a result of that I am really interested in things that impact the environment and technological advancement, but also how we can make those technological advancements not expensive, so that these advancements aren't limited to countries which are really developed and have a lot of revenue to develop in that area,” the 18-year-old said.
Attributing her love for studying to her mother, Robinson said, “I grew up in a single-parent household and my mother is one of the [major] support systems in my life, in addition to relatives and friends that surround me and encourage me. That has been a major motivation for me, as well as my goal to become an engineer and also aspiring for excellence.”
Her mother, Beverly Robinson, said she knew her daughter would choose a science career because as a toddler, Robinson loved reading books on the environment and science.
“From when Racqueish was a little girl, she had an interest in science, and I had a hobby of taking them to the bookstore on weekends. She has a bigger sister and her bigger sister would stretch for Enid Blyton books, and later on for more complex material, but Racqueish only wanted books on science. So I ended up buying books on the environment [and] books on chemical hazards. Those were the types of books she wanted to read,” she recalled.
The mother of two said that in an effort to get her daughter to read regular storybooks, she would have to schedule time on Sundays, while cooking in the kitchen, and have her stand beside her and read.
“She always had an active interest. For example, if somebody came by to do any technical work, she would be asking them questions and passing tools to them. And actually her father too was an engineer, and by the time she was four, she was able to look at what he was doing and pass him exactly what he needed when he was fixing things around the house,” the mother added.
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