He is one step closer to achieving his dream of becoming a medical doctor.
Raheem Barrett is today grateful for the help and encouragement he received from Jamaicans who aided his cause.
Barrett, who left for China last week, sent a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to everyone who assisted in his journey to achieve his dream.
“I’d like to thank everybody who helped, even the people who called and said they’re not able to help financially but offered kind and encouraging words,” Barrett said.
The 19-year-old was recently granted a space at the Anhui Medical University in China to read for a degree of clinical medicine and surgery. Until recently, he had no idea where the funding would come from. On August 7, his plight was highlighted in the Jamaica Observer from which he received tremendous support.
“My first donor was such a big help both financially and emotionally. She was there helping me every step of the way. She even vowed to keep in contact with me when I’m in China. I call her my fairy godmother,” he stated.
“She said that the funds was for her to vacation in Dubai, but she thinks this a much more worthy cause as she wanted to be a nurse as well but didn’t get the opportunity because no one really paid her any mind even though she had the potential,” he continued.
The budding doctor said he also received funding from five persons who contributed under anonymity as well as World-net Investment Company Limited — a financial institution — which would “cover the entire first year, plane fare and well into second-year tuition.”
Like Barrett, his relatives have been most grateful.
“When I told my parents of the sponsorship that I was getting the first thing she said was ‘Raheem you have to do your best to continue making these people proud’ and that was like a vow that I saw myself being compelled to fulfil,” Barrett told the
“My aunt Pauline McLeod, who has always been there to encourage me to pursue my dream of being a doctor ever since I was much younger, was elated beyond measure as well as my aunt Opal who sewed a bush jacket for me when I was younger and said that even if it’s tight and little she wants me to wear it on my first hospital rounds,” he added laughing.
Though his parents are unemployed, Barrett noted that they are better equipped to fund his tertiary pursuits.
In August he noted that his parents were assiduously trying to garner the funds but saw numerous roadblocks.
“They planned to fund it through loans. However, most of the lending agencies are asking for things like collateral, interest rates and so on that my parents can’t provide and won’t be able to keep up with,” Barrett said at the time.
But he is confident the situation will improve in the years to come.
“My parents are saving now. The head start is very helpful and I’m very confident that I’ll get additional scholarships for international students at the school knowing my extra-curricular involvement coupled with my academic prowess,” a hopeful Barrett told the Sunday Observer.
The programme lasts for six years, five of which will be studying and another for his internship which he has already decided will be done in Jamaica.