Guyana Times reporter receives first ever Hughes Scholarship

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…as APA secures tertiary education sponsorship for Indigenous students

After earning her place in this year’s University of Guyana law programme, Guyana Times reporter Paula Gomes was on Friday awarded the first ever Clarence A F Hughes scholarship for Indigenous students pursuing an LLB.

This is as the Amerindian People’s Association (APA) seeks to secure sponsorship for Indigenous students to ensure that high flyers are given the opportunity to chase after advanced levels of education.

Attorney at Law Nigel Hughes presenting scholarship to awardee Paula Gomes in the presence of representatives from the APA

Shortly after gaining entry to the UG LLB programme, Gomes, who hails from Paramakatoi Village in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni), reached out to the APA for financial aid as she reads for her LLB.

As a result of her request, the representative body of Indigenous peoples extended her application to the Hughes, Fields & Stoby Law Firm who responded favourable.

The 20-year-old is now the first ever recipient of this scholarship which provides full funding for the education of promising Indigenous youths who will be embarking on the journey of becoming an Attorney.

Speaking at the presentation ceremony which was hosted at the office of the law firm, Attorney Nigel Hughes, congratulated the young reporter, alluding to the longstanding relationship his firm shares with the APA.

The Attorney went on to say that, “I am happy to say that the APA contacted us last week and they identified what I believe is the best candidate to pursue an LLB course at the University of Guyana and as a result of our collaboration, Hughes, Fields & Stoby have agreed to fund the entire law programme for Ms Gomes.”

He pointed out that Gomes’ outstanding results at the Caribbean Examination Council examination was a positive factor leading to the award of the scholarship. “She will perform extraordinarily well and we are honoured and privileged to have been afforded this opportunity to provide this scholarship for Miss Gomes.”

Meanwhile, in her address at the ceremony, awardee Paula Gomes extended gratitude to both the law firm and the APA while highlighting the significance of this contribution, especially as it relates to the development of the first peoples of Guyana.

On that note, Gomes stated, “while I applaud the generosity of Mr Hughes and his law firm, I believe that there should be more awards of this kind for I know of many Indigenous persons who are not able to realise and unleash their full potentials simply because of financial constraints.”

With that being said, the aspiring lawyer assured that the investment will have a significant ripple effect on her community and the first peoples at large. She even offered words of advice to others looking to follow in her footsteps by saying, “Being an Indigenous person and being someone who truly knows the struggles of Indigenous peoples, I would like them (other Indigenous students) to know that the opportunities are endless if only you reach out far enough.”

The scholarship awarded to Gomes marks the first award to be made in honour of the late Attorney, Clarence A F Hughes and sets the way for others to benefit, with talks of it becoming an annual initiative.

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