For many foreign students, getting a college degree is often a monumental financial struggle.And, for Sheldeen Joseph, 23, a Vincentian-born athletic student at Bowie State University in Maryland, the task is even more arduous.
But, despite great adversity, Joseph, a basketball student, is determined to succeed.
One diligent and benevolent national, James Cordice — the architect of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ participation in the illustrious Penn Relays in Philadelphia and former president of the Philadelphia-based St. Vincent and the Grenadines Organization of Pennsylvania (SVGOP) – has even offered to serve as a guarantee of a loan to the tune of US$9,000.00 so that Joseph “can finish what she started.”
With Cordice’s aid and intervention, Joseph stands to graduate in June with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Bowie State University.
After Joseph’s fervent appeal for tuition assistance for the Fall 2015 semester, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Nationals Association of Washington, D.C. (SVGNA) and SVGOP contributed US$2,000.00 each towards her tuition. Arlette Dopwell-James, the former SVGOP president, at Cordice’s urging, was also instrumental in helping to raise another US$1,000.00 among nationals in the Pennsylvania area and from among SVGOP members.
In her appeal for urgent financial aid, at the end of July last year, Joseph, a former student at St. Joseph Convent Marriaqua and Emmanuel High School Mesopotamia in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, wrote to SVGOP.
The letter was forwarded to SVGOP and the Brooklyn-based umbrella Vincentian group, Council of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Organizations, U.S.A., Inc. (COSAGO), for assistance. SVGNA and SVGOP responded affirmatively to the appeal.
Joseph said she made appointments to see the minister of sports, “tried for the prime minister,” visited the manager of the National Lottery, “and I wasn’t able to see the ministers, nor was I able to get anything from lottery.”
But she said, while all her visits were “discouraging,” she still didn’t allow them to “distract me from where I was trying to head.”
After SVGOP, SVGNA, James-Dopwell, Cordice, Kenley “Shortmus” John, the former president of the humanitarian Vincentian group VincyCares, and others intervened, Joseph was able to complete the Fall 2015 semester.
And, with the Cordice’s financial backing for her last semester, Joseph is now more confident than ever of finally achieving her goal.
Republished from CLNP