‘On success and determination’

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— Stanford University- bound Sherlock Langevine tells his story

By Naomi Marshall

“In life you actually get the reward for the work you put in and I do think that life’s path is not always linear but definitely once you work hard and smart you should expect that sooner or later you will get the reward you deserve,” are the words of Sherlock Langevine Jr.

Langevine is a young man from the village of Victoria, East Coast Demerara whose hard work has definitely paid off and has earned him a spot at the prestigious Stanford University, Duke University and seven other top universities in the United States of America.

Langevine has always been among Guyana’s top achievers, copping fourth position in the country at the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) 2020, and seventeenth place in the country at the CSEC examinations in 2018 with 14 grade Ones.

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The 19-year-old’s success definitely did not come overnight, but is the fruit of consistency, determination and commitment to achieving his goal of becoming one of Guyana’s best chemical engineers.

Although Langevine spent most of his life in Victoria, he was born in Antigua and migrated to Guyana at age 10, where he would live with his mother and two younger siblings. The young man attended the North Georgetown Primary School and later secured a spot at President’s College upon writing the National Grade Six Assessment in 2013.

He then transferred to the St. Stanislaus College in 2015 where he would discover his love for science, hence he entered the science stream, and had dreams of becoming a doctor.

However, in form six he would develop an affinity to environmental science and chemistry. This new found affinity led Langevine to think critically about what career path he truly wanted to be in.

In an interview with Village Voice News, Langevine related, “When I went on to CAPE I started to think critically about what I wanted in the future and what career path I really think would suits me and I realised that in order for me to become a doctor, biology would have to be one of those subjects that I will have to focus on heavily and I realised that while it was very easy, it was a subject that I could have passed with my eyes closed. It really was not challenging and it was not like intellectually stimulating for me.”

Langevine went on to say, “So I really started thinking about which science subject I truly liked and I realised that I liked chemistry and environmental science so later on in my last year of form six I decided that I am going to pursue a career in chemical engineering.”

Sherlock Langevine Jr.

With the aim of becoming one of Guyana’s best chemical engineers, Langevine did not just want to attend any university, but an international university with an excellent chemical engineering programme at the undergraduate level.

So, after completing high school, and writing his SAT examinations, which he scored high in, he applied to 21 universities during the period of December 2020 and February 2021 with the guidance of 4 mentors.

Of the 21 universities he was accepted into nine universities including the North Western University, Duke University and Stanford University.

Langevine related to this newspaper that it was a tough decision to choose between Duke University and Stanford University because both are excellent schools. Nevertheless, he chose to attend the Stanford University.

“I decided to go with Stanford because of the stronger engineering programme that they have and I thought that the Stanford network and alumni would be one that would definitely give me opportunities that I would not have at any other university and I definitely want to be in a place where I have a whole lot of resources available to me,” he explained.

Although, Langevine would receive a US$324,000 scholarship from Stanford University, he still needed UD$8400 to cover parent’s contributions to the school for the next four years.

Langevine related to this newspaper that he did not see his parents being able to pay that money and he also did not win the Presidential Award since he copped fourth position in the country at CAPE 2020.

As such, he made a ‘Go Fund Me’ account to obtain the necessary funds. Since creating the account, the young man has been receiving an overwhelming amount of support from persons in and out of Guyana, including the President of Guyana, Irfaan Ali who pledged to support Langevine by offsetting additional expenses.

Langevine was able to raise over US$11,000 which will allow him to graduate debt free from Stanford University in the next four-years.

“I was ecstatic that everyone was willing to help me get into Stanford University and have an awesome Stanford University lifestyle. I am so grateful because it is such a relief that I would finish my undergraduate education debt free,” Langevine expressed.

In July of this year, Langevine will commence his chemical engineering studies at the Stanford University, a dream come true for the young man. He also plans to explore other science fields such as computer science and political science.

“I do hope to finish my chemical engineering studies at Stanford, become a chemical engineer and when I am finished with that, come back to Guyana and play a significant part in the Guyana Oil Industry. I do plan on enjoying the moment while it lasts and work my best,” Langevine related.

The youth who describes himself as a committed and hardworking person, is advising youths to be “consistent”.

He stated, “I would advise that persons be consistent. I know that people would say burn the midnight oil and stuff like that. But it is important that you be consistent and continuously work hard and always build upon your past struggles. I was always aiming to one day be a top student and I never lost sight of my goal so definitely be consistent with your work and continue to keep the prize on your mind.”

Langevine added, “You actually get the reward for the work that you put in and I do think that sometimes life path is not always linear but definitely once you work hard and smart you should sort of expect sooner or later you will get the reward that you deserve. So definitely work hard.”



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