MP Romou says it goes without saying how extremely proud and elated she is about hearing the news that a young St. Maartener namely Kyeisha Laurence has been accepted to the prestigious Harvard Medical School. MP Romou explained that as she has dedicated most of her life to youth advocacy and having been actively involved with guiding, mentoring and shaping our youth on St. Maarten, she feels obligated to highlight and congratulate Kyeisha who was also a participant a couple of times in the Interscholastic idol competition which MP Romou organizes.
Kyeisha she explained moved to the United States in 2013 to pursue her educational goals. She was always a bright student, earning all A’s in her classes and while she was in St. Maarten she was mostly known for her singing and involvement in island wide singing competitions. Once in high school in the U.S, she found her new passion: medicine. Kyeisha explained to MP Romou, how she realized medicine was her calling “I was inspired to go into medicine after losing my little cousin to cancer and shortly after losing my great-grandmother, Elfrida Fleming. Grandma Ello was an amazing woman who touched the lives of many. I grew up hearing the stories about the impact she had on many women on the island as a midwife. She taught me the true meaning of selflessness and how to show up for your community in times of need. The values I learned from her and the example she set for me ultimately led me to pursue medicine.”
Mp Romou said that Kyeisha’s journey is worth sharing because with her goal to become a medical doctor, Kyeisha began the long journey to make her dream come true which takes four years of undergraduate university, four years of medical school, and three to seven years of residency training. Kyeisha attended the University of Maryland, College Park, and received a Bachelor of Science in Cellular Biology and Genetics and a Minor in French, and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a 3.97 GPA and a long list of accolades and accomplishments. Following her graduation, Kyeisha joined the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health to contribute to impactful research while she applied to medical school. Kyeisha received 13 acceptances to some of the most prestigious and competitive medical schools in the United States, but finally decided to enroll at Harvard Medical School, the top medical intuition in the world with an acceptance rate of just 3.3%.
MP Romou in speaking with Keisha on this great achievement managed to get Kyeisha’s take on what going to Harvard Medical School means to her:
“It is hard to put into words what this opportunity means to me. Harvard is a dream I never dared to dream. It was not even on my radar. It just didn’t seem like it was a possibility. Little did I know God had bigger plans for me! Growing up in St. Martin, I didn’t hear about people getting in and going to Harvard at all. This is why when I got in I knew instantly how huge this was for my community. I remember a former teacher from elementary school reaching out and saying “I have only heard of Harvard in the TV shows or movies and now I know someone who got in! I’m telling all my students.!” By sharing my story, I can now be that representation that I didn’t have. I have always said “small island but big dreams” and despite the self-doubts, the challenges, and turmoil I kept being resilient and pushing through and now the dreams are a reality. And that is the advice I would give to my fellow SXM students pursuing their dreams and education: Dream big! Don’t limit yourself!”
“As I go off to medical school this fall, I am ready to start my journey to become the best doctor I can be. I am excited to dedicate myself to improving the health of others and to enter this career centered on serving others. As a physician, I want to be a trusted figure in my community. I want to bring the best care and treatment to my future patients. I want to impact the field of medicine, leaving it better than I met it. I hope to join the many other amazing people working to make medicine more equitable and just to do it through research, advocacy, and leadership.“One of my major goals and dreams is to be able to improve health on St. Martin and encourage more students to go into medicine.”
MP Romou explained that Kyeisha has already started working on this goal, as she returned to the island in the summer of 2021 and hosted a free workshop for St. Maarten high school students. She mentors Caribbean students who want to go into medicine and is always willing to give back to her island. Her next venture is the launch of her own non-profit called “Caribbean Health Alliance” which will focus on improving health in the Caribbean.
MP Romou is so super proud and once again wishes Kyeisha Laurence all the very best in her pursuit to becoming Doctor Kyeisha Laurence. The MP also said that Kyeisha is a living testimony of the statement that it takes a Village to raise a child and congratulates the entire family circle who has been very instrumental in Kyeisha becoming the young lady she is today. Romou also stated her joy in having had this discussion with Kyeisha and the opportunity that was granted to her to share Kyeisha’s story with all of St. Maarten moreover with the youth of St. Maarten, so that they can realize that no dream is too big because once they work on their vision and believe in their vision they can achieve it, and this is exactly what Kyeisha is sharing with all of us.
MP Romou quoted Kyeisha saying, “Everywhere I go and every room I enter, I will always let it be known that I am a proud St. Maartener.” MP Romou concluded by saying, “I know that the entire St. Maarten population is proud to know that Kyeisha will be proudly waving the St. Maarten flag at Harvard Medical School this fall.”, and we are proud to call her a St. Maarten daughter of the soil.