Selling nuts on hold, Makeisha settles into med school life at UWI

 - Makeisha Simon
- Makeisha Simon

Without a doubt, 22-year-old Makeisha Simon is fulfilling her life-long dreams of becoming a doctor.

Not even the covid19 pandemic stopped this Princes Town resident from continuing her studies.

In March, when the government closed all places of learning, she did not have physical classes for about a week. Then online classes followed, she said.

"School for me never stopped. There is a lot to learn, but once a person sticks to it the concepts are simple. There is no doubt about it, this is where I belong."

Her grade point average remains over three since she started classes at UWI, St Augustine last September.

Simon began selling nuts and channa with her mother Nekisha on the streets in Princes Town and San Fernando to raise money to start classes after UWI accepted her last year. They made a public plea for financial help and the public responded resoundingly.

She is a member of the medical sciences student council games committee which assists students in the Faculty of Medical Sciences. She was also accepted as a resident assistant.

"It entails integrating the new students. I will be doing training in August. Being a resident assistant, it means I will get to stay on hall free (of charge) for another year.

"When school started, it begged for my attention. So I took a backseat from selling to focus on my studies. I was still helping on the weekends when I was off. Since the pandemic, I have not been on the streets."

Thanks to the generosity of UWI staff, she is housed at the Joyce Gibson-Inniss Hall free-of-charge for a year.

SFCCU Credit Union Co-operative Society donated all her textbooks and Gopaul Lands Hardware gave her a computer with a printer. The hardware store also gives her a monthly grant.

"In return, in the future, I will be giving, if not the same, more to someone like me. I reached where I am because of the help I got from everyone including (former Housing Development Corporation chairman) Newman George and Island Finance. I thank everyone who helped me. I know I have a long road ahead."

She also thanked Newsday, which first highlighted her plight.

In terms of family, Simon said: "I love my mom. She continues to fight for us (family) and what she believes is right. She never one day told me ‘no’ and always gave me the choice to choose what I do with my life."

She reminisced that last November her ailing grandmother, Judith Simon-Rodney, died.

"I wished she was alive to see me graduate. As a child, she called me her little doctor. She was there for all my graduations. I have to make her proud too."


"Selling nuts on hold, Makeisha settles into med school life at UWI"

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