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MEISHA BYNOE – On the path to fulfilling her dreams

MEISHA BYNOE – On the path to fulfilling her dreams

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She is destined for great things and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

As a child, Meisha Bynoe always excelled academically. In 1994 she placed third for girls and sixth overall in the Common Entrance exams, In 1999, Meisha took centre stage, topping the list of outstanding performers in the CSEC examinations with 10 grades ones; 2001, Meisha at age 17 set an academic record in St. Vincent and the Grenadines as the first Vincentian to cop four A’s in the Advanced Level examinations.{{more}} She received A’s in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics. She also received a B for General Paper, making a total of five subjects with top grades.

Her Common Entrance, CSEC and A’ Level achievements were just a hint of what she is capable of academically.

At present, Meisha, the daughter of Alfred and Theresa Bynoe, formerly of Calder Ridge who now reside in Canada, is heading into her fourth year at the prestigious Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, pursuing her PhD in Microbiology. She will complete her programme in 2010. Meisha also has a sister Laurisha and brother Ato.

“I’m doing well. School’s taking up much of my time, but it’s good,” said Meisha in an exclusive interview with SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday.

She disclosed that for her dissertation, she is conducting research into a Herpes virus which causes cancer, particularly in individuals with impaired immune systems.

Other than working on her research, Meisha works with the Yale Office for International Students and Scholars and the Dean for Yale Graduate Student Life, planning events for graduate students campuswide. She noted that she also tries to be active at church and has been mentoring and tutoring high school students over the past years.

The budding scientist, who is now 24, said she is planning to pursue a career in virology.

Prior to Meisha’s enrolment at Yale, she attended the highly acclaimed Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Based on her Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) she had gained entrance into MIT and had earned herself a part-scholarship.

Meisha graduated from MIT in June 2005 with Bachelors degrees in Music and Biology. That summer (June 2005), Meisha headed to Singapore for 2 months to work at the Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology through the Singapore-MIT Alliance. She was awarded one of six Gilliam Fellowships by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 2005 as well.

“I miss St. Vincent and the Grenadines quite a lot. Regardless of where you go in the world, home would always be home. There is a certain amount of tranquillity that one can still enjoy at home despite some of the things that are happening. I miss the culture, the food, music, people and the dialect,” said Meisha.

Her advice to young Vincentians is this: “Do not feel limited by what you see around you. Go with whatever dreams you have and there are opportunities that will follow your dream as far as you want to take it.”

Meisha is a former student of the Sion Hill Government School, Girls’ High School and Community College. As a student of the Girls’ High School her average never dropped below 84 per cent.

In 2001, before going off to the MIT, Meisha told SEARCHLIGHT that she was aspiring to become a research scientist and contribute to finding cures for diseases. It is clear that she is fulfilling her dreams.

Some of her achievements before leaving St. Vincent and the Grenadines include gaining recognition in the Commonwealth Essay Competition for commendable performance on four occasions; receiving a Premier Degree in French from the Alliance Francaise in 1998, and winning the World Food Day Essay Competition. She also received the George Phillips Award for Excellence from the Rotary Club in 1998, and to top it off, she graduated in 1999 as the Student of the Year at the Girls’ High School. She also held a scholarship from GECCU and was a member of the Ranger Pilot Project Group.

Today, when one looks at all that Meisha has accomplished in her short life, we as Vincentians are all proud of her.

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