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Aspiring Cancer Researcher is the Central Bank of Barbados’ 2022 SPISE Scholar

Created 24 days ago
by SuperUser Account

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Seventeen-year-old Opal Trim is the Central Bank of Barbados’ 2022 SPISE (Students Programme for Innovation in Science and Engineering) scholar. Through the scholarship, she will participate in a five-week programme for teenagers who aspire towards careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Opal, a student of Queen’s College, describes herself as a “Maths girl” who was interested in Law until third form when she was taught about science more in depth, primarily Chemistry and Biology.

She says she loved Biology’s “human side” such as genetics and how our bodies work, but found it difficult to remember the formulas and the parts that make up the body because “there are so many.”  Nonetheless, she loved everything about Chemistry, which is why she combined them both to study Biochemistry.

When asked what she wants to be in the future, Opal says, “I want to be a cancer research scientist.”

Her choice of career, however, was not solely based on her love for science, but also her love for family. Growing up, she was not personally affected by cancer until her aunt was diagnosed. She unfortunately passed and Opal questioned if her aunt had been able to do everything she wanted to do with her life. That fuelled her to explore jobs that research drugs to cure cancer, so that she can help others who suffer from the deadly disease. 

For Opal, who has been steadily working towards this goal, SPISE is a step closer to her dream.

The teenager says she was “so excited” when she received the news that she was selected to be the Bank’s SPISE scholar. It felt surreal because she was doubtful she would receive the opportunity given that only a limited number of students are selected each year.

She says she was thankful for the opportunity and hopes to build on her love for Biochemistry and come to appreciate subjects such as Physics and Calculus. She also wishes to meet new people and create relationships with persons from the region.

Opal encourages students like herself not to shy away from science because it seems intimidating.

“If you love it, you’ll push through it.”

Finally, when asked what keeps her motivated, Opal says, referring to finding a cure for cancer, “I don’t want to live forever, but I want to create something that does”.

SPISE is an initiative of the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF), whose aim is to nurse the keen interest shown by students in pursuing careers in STEM, thereby diversifying regional economies and increasing the number of native scientists, engineers, and business leaders.

SPISE runs from July 24 to August 27, 2022. The programme will be conducted online due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.




Date: 7/22/2022
Author(s): Central Bank Of Barbados

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