“Han wash han does mek han come clean” this creole phrase describes my life perfectly. Born in the capital city of Georgetown, Guyana to unwed parents. I remember like it was yesterday my foster mother saying, “I have nothing to give you but God and an education” and that she did, making sure that I attended church and never missed a day of school.
After graduating high school I pursued a certificate program in Industrial relations and social studies. Upon successful completion of this program, I attended the University of Guyana where I read for a bachelor’s degree in sociology.
My life’s work has entailed working with disadvantaged youths as a community youth facilitator and later as youth coach. I also volunteer teaching literacy to children in my community and giving support to single mothers.
I am always striving to give back to those in need, as someone took the opportunity to give me life through education and spirituality.
I am now aspiring to pursue my masters in Social Development with the aim of becoming a social researcher who will help to initiate changes in public policy and education in Guyana and internationally.
32 year-old Vanessa Williams-Rodriguez from Guyana, is one of OFID’s 2017 scholars who will attend the University of Sussex for an MSc in Social Development.