Despite physical challenges, Hyacinth Stoute has remained optimistic and determined to pursue her career goals.
In 2010, at the age of 41, she operated a thriving catering business. She was passionate about her chosen career and was eager to pursue an academic qualification in management, which would have enhanced her
overall skills and ability to manage her business. Unfortunately, her plans were brought to an abrupt halt.
Stoute’s plight started when she experienced challenges with partially losing her eyesight. Her condition was diagnosed as having detached retinas. Stoute underwent surgery, which the doctor believed would have allowed her to regain complete vision, but the procedure was unsuccessful.
However, in 2015, she completed three CXC’s and added a fourth subject in 2019 and is currently enrolled at The University of the West Indies (UWI) as a first-year student pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Management.
Today, she has another achievement under her belt, having been announced the winner of the 16th Caribbean Catalyst – Kregg Nurse Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded to an individual with a disability who has successfully completed at least one year of post-secondary school education, in any field, and is continuing their
formal education at a recognised tertiary educational institution.
The award always coincides with Kregg’s birthday, which is June 13.
This year, despite the impact of COVID-19, Caribbean Catalyst Inc. remained committed to continuing the Kregg Nurse Scholarship. There were four applications and, after interviewing the candidates and evaluating their physical and other challenges and their academic journeys, judges were faced with the difficult task of selecting a
winner from two enthusiastic and remarkable finalists – Caitlin Ward and Hyacinth Stoute.
Stoute highlighted some of the challenges she faces as a result of her disability. She has difficulty travelling alone and needs someone to accompany her when visiting unfamiliar places. With regards to managing classes at UWI, her primary challenge is recording and obtaining notes for classes. She does not have a laptop or the required devices to efficiently record notes during classes. Without the required technology of her own, Stoute is utilising the visual aid equipment in the Kerryann Ifill Unit at UWI, photocopying chapters and in some cases, entire books.
Stoute also mentioned that she incurs transportation costs to travel from UWI to her home, due to the scheduled evening classes.
Stoute presented herself as an optimistic and resilient individual; not dwelling on her challenges but viewing them as learning opportunities. Stoute’s words of encouragement to persons with a similar disability is to be confident, “do not be afraid to try or do things on your own”.
She will receive a plaque and the two finalists will each receive a monetary contribution towards their studies.
Caribbean Catalyst Inc. extends heartiest congratulations to Stoute and Ward and encourage them to continue to fulfil their academic aspirations.
Kregg’s mother, Mrs. Linnell Nurse and Kerryann Ifill continue to be active supporters of the efforts of Caribbean Catalyst Inc. as the team works to assist the differently-abled community in progressive ways.