With his tenacious personality, 17-year-old Malique Wilson believes he will accomplish his goal of being a successful businessman, politician or a pilot.
After being awarded the People’s Choice in the Youth Parliament Debate competition, Wilson, a sixth form student of St Mary’s College, said originally he wanted to become a pilot but his experience in Parliament raised his interest in becoming a politician.
The debate on November 11 was on a motion calling for legislation to recognise parents’ and guardians’ responsibility for their children’s online behaviour.
Wilson and another student were chosen to represent St Mary’s on an invitation from the Parliament to participate in the debate. He was the attorney general and MP for San Fernando West.
In an interview with Sunday Newsday, Wilson, who is from Bon Air Gardens, Arouca, said the experience would be an everlasting one.
“The youth parliament experience was one that words cannot describe.
“My favourite part of the experience was meeting MPs in person, as well as watching them present their contributions about the topic at hand.”
He said after this experience, he believes politics in TT is serious business, and politicians have a lot of work to do. He believes they do their best and are serious about the work they do for the country.
“We were able to see a live sitting in the Chamber and the politicians were well researched. They know what they are talking about. They seem very serious about the topics at hand.
“But I will also say there is room for improvement, because you can see in some constituencies things get done, and in others they are like they are forgotten. Some representatives don’t show up for the people.”
Wilson is studying physics, pure maths, geography and communications.
He said he has a special love for the elderly and hopes one day to own a nursing home with modern programmes to show them they matter despite their age.
“I have a passion for aviation and love planes ever since I can remember. I want to become a successful person.
“But most importantly, I want to be able to help out people, especially the elderly. I think that’s important in life.”
He said he does a lot of volunteer work with the Reach Foundation, which focuses on caring for the elderly.
“It is more like a book club that we have. I was also exposed to meeting the elderly at a very young age, because my granny owns J’s Welcome Home. I love being around them.”
Wilson feels sometimes elderly people in society are forgotten, not wanted and left alone.
“Earlier this year my granny took them to the beach and they loved it. They had so much fun. They are also taken to the gardens. She does things with them to help them relax because she knows the importance of care for them, and one day it is my hope to follow in her footsteps.”
He said some of them are very humorous, with different personalities.
“They share their life experiences with me and it is quite fascinating to listen to them. We interchange homes with the book club and I remember meeting Dr Eric Williams’s sister...She had a lot of stories to tell.
“I have learned and benefited from being around the aged. They have so must to share and it can also help mould me into the successful person I want to become – along with the help and support from my family, of course.”
Wilson believes the government should invest more in nursing homes.
“They need to put measures in place to assist these homes financially. There is a need to have trained people to visit the homes more often to ensure the elderly are well taken care of.”
Homes should offer activities to make the residents feel “alive and wanted.”
Wilson represented St Mary’s in the 5th Annual Spoken Word Competition on the theme The Dignity of Work, hosted by the Catholic Youth Commission. He was the only male competitor and placed first.
“I hope to enter another spoken word competition, because this was my first and I really enjoyed it.”
Wilson is the eldest of four and is the only boy. His father is a lawyer and his mother works in marketing. He enjoys sports, especially triathlons.
Asked what advice he would give to young people who want to succeed, he said, “First you need to have a plan, and then you need to be serious about carrying out the plan.
“You must follow through in life. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice.”