I am Jodie Fernandes, Christin's cousin. I've known this young woman her entire life, and she is one of the most talented, dedicated and driven people I have ever met. Every person who knows her has no doubt she is capable of truly great accomplishments in any pursuit she chooses. Her whole family is hoping to see her make this next, most important step in her life and we want to give her the best chance possible. Please help us make this a reality! There is not a doubt in our minds that she will pay it forward!
Here's her story:
"My name is Christin-Lee Maharaj. I am 19 years old and a graduate of St Joseph Convent Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. I am a dedicated, well-rounded student who has been committed to voluntary community service while constantly pursuing academic excellence, and I have many wonderful people in my life who would attest to this on my behalf.
For most of my childhood, I have been a medical patient due to my asthma and endometriosis, and it is my sincere hope I will have the privilege of becoming Dr. Christin-Lee Maharaj. I hope to care for others as I was cared for, and to serve my patients in the way that dedicated frontline health workers have been doing throughout this pandemic.
Last year, I was accepted by Leicester Medical School in the UK, securing 1 of under 20 places offered to international students by this competitive and prestigious institution...
...Then COVID-19 hit. Due to the economic fallout of the pandemic, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago reduced the number of National Scholarships from 180 to 50, only 5 of which were available for students in my course of study. Every one of my fellow students who had been working hard toward earning a 2020 scholarship was caught off guard.
Thankfully, I had been preparing for years. I had dreamt of studying medicine for as long as I could remember, and with the help of my family, had made some outstanding academic achievements (see below) which ensured I was in the running. Earning a place in the top 5 in the Caribbean region for three consecutive years would surely have meant I would be awarded the full scholarship I desperately needed.
Despite my persistence and hard work, and against my family’s reasonable expectations, I was disappointed to learn I had not been awarded the scholarship that would have covered the cost of my studies, as were dozens of other deserving students who had consistently performed at the top in other fields. However, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago awarded me a partial Scholarship, despite the economic challenges Covid-19 brought, and for that, I am so very thankful.
But the dream of pursuing my calling, and of helping the people of my country through advanced medicine, is now in jeopardy. Without the scholarship I had been working towards since I was 13 years old, financing my medical education has become very tenuous. The partial scholarship can only cover 16% of my medical school expenses, and I have searched for and applied to every other grant for which I am eligible.
My amazing parents, who have supported me in all my academic efforts while diligently serving Trinidad’s youth as teachers for over 23 years, are simply unable to undertake this cost alone.
It is for this reason I am humbly asking for your generous assistance in funding my 5-year medical degree, which amounts to approximately 354,000 USD, with a starting goal of 60,000 USD. I ask for your assistance in any way possible, by sharing my story and/or making a donation.
Anything helps. Everything counts. I am truly grateful for your kindness and humanity.
Scroll down to see pictures!
• I pursued an extra subject at the regional CAPE examinations, obtaining 10 Grade 1s with Distinction. In Unit 1 I placed 5th in Chemistry and 6th in Biology in the entire Caribbean region, and despite writing my final exams amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic, I placed 1st in Biology, 1st Chemistry, 6th in Communication Studies and 9th in Applied Mathematics, all within the entire Caribbean Region.
• I’ve achieved Certificates of Distinction in the Australian Math and Chemistry Olympiads, of which I’ve always qualified for multiple rounds.
• I obtained 9 Grade 1 Distinctions at CSEC, the highest grade achievable, and placed 4th in Biology in the entire Caribbean Region at age 16.
• I placed first in my school for 3 consecutive years, topping several topics at a time such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics (Additional and Applied).
Community Service & Extra-Curricular Activities:
• 9 years serving in Children’s Liturgy army local parish
• 6 years as an Altar Server
• 5 years volunteering with the St. Vincent de Paul Society
• 4 years on school Dragon Boat team
• 3 years in Youth for Change
• 2 years in Waste Wise (environmental awareness club)
• 2 years in UNESCO
• 2 years in Animal Rights club
• Organize parties for less-fortunate children
• Assisted many families in need during Christmas and Easter as well as assist the annual St. Joseph community Christmas party.
• Organised food drives and distributed hampers for families in need during the Covid-19 Pandemic.