When Marissa Victoria Foster started the University of Guyana Berbice Campus fresh out of high school in 2018, she had no direction on her career choice, she did not put any effort into her studies and only desired to reach the end of her journey there.
In fact, she said, “my initial plan was simply to attend classes and graduate with a certificate.”
“I knew that I had a passion already for social change and justice so I chose social work again but no goals, no intentions with anything as to where I’m going.
“I started the first year actually without studying, with going to classes late, hunting coursework that wasn’t up to the standards of the university. I wasn’t proud of that because again, I was young, naive,” she told the News Room on Friday.
But things changed when one mentor, Devta Ramroop recognised her capability to lead and pushed her in the right direction. The now 21-year-old journalist and entrepreneur said that she moved from being “clueless” to being the first recipient on the Berbice Campus to receive the Council of the University Prize.
The Council Prize is awarded to a student who has attained at least a ‘Pass with Credit’, and has made the greatest contributions to other areas of University activities.
Foster graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA and her Bachelor Degree in Social Work. And this would not have been possible if she did not go after her goals.
“I hesitated because I did not think I had it in me but I was persuaded anyway because Devta knew what she was looking for, she was very specific with her representatives and she saw I have shown leadership qualities.”
“It was during the first few months of being a part of the UGSS that I realized that I was trotting the wrong path for two years. I eventually realized that if I wanted to become the person I aspired to be—that wasn’t going to cut it.”
And so began her journey to excellence.
According to Marissa, “she had a lot of catching up to do”, while battling the pandemic and adjusting to the new normal of online learning while pursuing her degree but the hard work paid off in the end.
“The minute I became intentional with my goals, I started to see improvements in both my academic standings as well as, my accomplishments in other areas. I went from a 3.4 GPA in the Associates degree to a 4.0 GPA my final year of my Bachelor’s,” the beaming Foster relayed.
And now, she’s passing on advice to those who are also hesitant to unlock their full potential: “be intentional with your goals and go after what you want.”
“If you want a 4.0 GPA, you can’t just say I want a 4.0 GPA and expect it to happen, you need to be specific and work towards that specific goal, otherwise it won’t happen,” she urged.