Harvard-bound Guyanese scholar Kelly Hyles has embarked on a mission to spread motivation to Guyanese students as they carve their own paths to success.
Her first stop was Queen’s College, where she yesterday addressed an assembly of students and offered words of encouragement. She hopes to make visits to other schools, including in Linden and Berbice, but next on her list, is a visit to her former school, Vryheid’s Lust Primary, which she attended up until age 11, making it a key contributor to her early development.
“I’ll get to meet the kids and tell them, ‘Once I was in your position,’” Hyles stated, sharing excitedly that she heard there was a surprise event planned for her.
The 17-year-old’s message to youths is that hard work leads to success and the only factor that can truly limit your potential is yourself.
“I came from very humble origins also, so I don’t think that not having money should ever be a reason for you not to work hard. I think the thing with education is that, when you say that education is the key to success, I wholeheartedly agree with that. To any person that feels discouraged because of their economic background, or their grades or anything of the sort, I’d tell you to try your best not to look at that as a limiting factor, at the end of the day, it’s not. The only thing that’s really in your way is yourself, and if you continue to work hard and you…have a goal in mind and continue to work toward that goal, I wholeheartedly believe you can achieve it,” she said.
Hyles’s outstanding achievement of being accepted to 21 colleges across the United States, including all eight Ivy League schools, had spread across social media like wildfire last month. During interviews with various media houses, the teen had indicated that she would be weighing her options before deciding upon which school to attend. Harvard ultimately took the cake, and according to Hyles, it was because it was the institution that had made her feel most at home.
“Harvard has a very good balance between the scientific department and the liberal arts,” she stated, explaining that because of her interest in Neuroscience and Biochemistry as well as other disciplines, it had been the ideal choice for her. “When I thought about it, I could picture myself most happy at Harvard,” she added.
The scholar noted that while she considers herself independent, a lot of the motivation she received along the way came from influential people along her journey, including her community of Vryheid’s Lust and her mom, Annetta Earl, who constantly encouraged her to pursue her goals.
Shaundelle Innis-Munroe, Chairman of South Vryheid’s Lust Community Development Council, and Hyles’s aunt, shared that there are plans to start a Kelly Hyles Scholarship Fund, which will provide funding to students from the community who have performed well but cannot afford to attend university.
Hyles’s trip to Guyana was funded by Fly Jamaica, which sponsored two first class tickets for the scholar’s return home as a reward for her excellence.