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By Svetlana Marshall
Samuel Haynes, the Queen’s College scholar who has been adjudged the Region’s top Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) Student for 2021 having secured 9 Grade Ones, is hoping to one day become an exceptional orthodontist or oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
“I plan to pursue a Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus after which I will seek to specialise in either orthodontics or oral and maxillofacial surgery at another international university,” Haynes told the Village Voice Newspaper in an interview on Saturday.
An orthodontist is a dentist trained to diagnose, prevent and treat teeth and jaw irregularities while oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained to handle a wide variety of conditions and injuries that affect the head, neck, mouth, jaw and face.
Upon completing his studies, Haynes intends to return to Guyana to contribute to the advancement of dental services in the country. “I plan to use my intellect and creativity to bring revolutionary development. Apart from this, I hope that I’m blessed with enough time, income and experience to give back to my village of Buxton as well as many other areas of our country that need development. I believe that it is always better to give than to receive, and that I will do,” he said.
Meanwhile, Haynes said much of his time is invested in doing canvas paintings as part of his business – Mark_Haynes’ Art. His business page can be found on Instagram under the name markhaynes_art_gy. “It is an enjoyable way of providing my clients with high quality paintings at affordable prices” the told this newspaper.
Haynes is among Guyanese students who have topped the Region at both the CSEC and CAPE Exams. In his case, he is in line to receive the Overall Outstanding Achievement Award.
Having topped Queen’s College in 2019 with 18 Grade Ones, and placing 4th in the country, Haynes said he set his eyes on becoming the Region’s top CAPE student, and so he did.
“I wouldn’t say that I was surprised, it’s more of a surreal moment. I thought to myself that I could achieve this and so worked towards it, but actually having been given this title is breath-taking and humbling,” he said.
Notably, in 2019 Haynes had received CXC’s Regional Award for the Most Outstanding Science Candidate. The award was presented in Grenada.
But who is Samuel Haynes?
“I’m 19 years old and I was born and raised in Buxton, ECD,” he shared.
Born to Pastors Anthony and Beverly Haynes the young Haynes said at the time of his birth, he lived with both of his parents, two older brothers and two cousins.
“I remember always being surrounded by loving family members as most reside within Buxton. My parents, as well as other family members say that as a child I was very entertaining and bold. My senses were always sharp and I operated at an academic as well as social level that was astonishing for my age,” he said.
From early, Haynes felt that he was born to stand out, conquer and lead.
“From a tender age, I felt like I was born to stand out, conquer and lead; this shaped the diligence towards whatever I was involved in growing up. My academic resilience never went unnoticed as I was consistently a top achiever,” he shared.
But though securing enough marks at the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) in 2014 to attend the prestigious Queen’s College, Haynes recalled feeling very heart-broken because he was not listed among the country’s top 10 students.
“I was so confused because I thought to myself that I had performed well enough,” he said. But Haynes drew strength from that experience.
“I swore to myself to never let the feelings of that day possess me again and I only grew stronger from then onwards,” he said.
Throughout his stint at Queen’s College, Haynes placed 1st in every class even as he engaged in sports and co-curricular activities.
“I won multiple gold and silver medals in track for 100m and 200m in primary school (The New Guyana School) and went on to participate in further track and field events at Queen’s College. A position that I held very close to my heart in QC was Commander of the Cunningham house Marching Squad since it encompassed discipline, artistry and music – three fields for which I’m passionate about. I was a very active member of the school as I participated in numerous student workshops, math camps, debates, interschool dance competitions and quizzes and fundraisers,” he recalled.
He enjoyed his many days chatting with friends after class, watching anime/TV series, listening to music, playing the piano, painting and playing games and sports (badminton).
“I can truly say that I lived a balanced school life. Perhaps my only regret I that I should’ve played more, but perhaps I wouldn’t have achieved this much today if I did such,” he said.
Asked what advice he would offer the Education Ministry to improve students’ performance in school, Haynes had this to say:
“I would propose for teachers to be specially trained to devise programs to facilitate the development of slower learners. Many students never grasped the necessary foundation at the primary level but are then promoted to secondary school to be met with an advanced curriculum for which they are expected to perform well; it simply will not happen if special attention is not given to them to understand core concepts.”