“I am honestly in shock. I wasn’t expecting my name to be called, because all of the contestants were really amazing and I felt a little intimidated coming from my University [of Belize], which is 3 000 students compared to some of the contestants who are from Harvard and the University of the West Indies (UWI),” Godoy told the media shortly after she was announced winner this afternoon.
“Coming here and going against these people was very hard because you do grow companionship with them. You are all going through the same process. I really can’t tell you how I did it. I just know that I persevered and I was determined to get the scholarship.”
The 20-year-old intends to pursue her Master’s in Development Studies, at the University of Oxford, England.
“I have chosen this because in my country a lot of times people talk about conflict, and they talk about all the problems that we have, but never really address how we could go about amending these problems. And I feel that developing and understanding who we are and how our identity was constructed and formed is the way to go,” she explained.
Godoy said winning the prestigious scholarship was a tremendous achievement since she came from a lower middle-income family in which her mother, Brenda Guillen, made sacrifices to raise her and her two siblings.
Every year, the Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee looks for young women and men of outstanding intellect, character, leadership, and commitment to service and who demonstrate a strong propensity to emerge as “leaders for the world’s future”.
The Selection Committee was chaired by Barbados’ Governor General Dame Sandra Mason and comprised six other members, most of whom are former Rhodes Scholars.
Secretary of the Commonwealth Caribbean Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee Peter Goldson said the scholarship continued to identify outstanding young Caribbean nationals who go on to study at the University of Oxford and become leaders at home and globally in their chosen fields.
The Rhodes Scholarship is one of the oldest scholarships in the world and has had a distinguished history. It was established under the will of Cecil John Rhodes, a British diamond magnate and imperialist, who died in 1903. The scholarship is regarded as the preeminent graduate scholarship. (AH)