Back in 2013, then 17-year-old Zimeena Rasheed of Anna Regina, Essequibo Coast was announced the country’s top performer at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations, attaining an impressive twenty-one grade ones in just one sitting. Today, years later, that same young woman continues to make strides in the academic field; recently attaining her Masters Degree in Civil Engineering.
Judge Alli B Majeed, and his wife Mrs Yasmin Majeed, with Zimeena Rasheed at her graduation ceremony at the Florida Institute of Technology.
Rasheed, now 22, grasped at an opportunity to study Civil Engineering at the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) in the U.S. through the kindness of another exceptional Guyanese, Judge Alli Baksh Majeed.
Judge Majeed’s life mirrored the same struggles Zimeena was faced with. He dreamt big, like her, but was told that his dreams were beyond reach. Despite this, he kept going, fighting his way through college and law school before becoming a prosecutor in the judicial system. But he did not stop there, Majeed put in the hard work until he ended up in the seat of a judge in the state of Florida.
Due to her stellar performance at CSEC, Zimeena was promised a scholarship to study at any university of her choice by the then PPP/C government. The CSEC examination body also offered her a scholarship to the University of the West Indies. But neither of those offered her the opportunity to study Civil Engineering.
Days later, after the top student announcement was made, Zimeena got a phone call from Judge Majeed who had attended her school several years before. Justice Majeed was one of the first graduates of Anna Regina Secondary now known as the Anna Regina Multilateral School.
Judge Majeed offered the young woman, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; a chance to study Civil Engineering at the Florida Institute of Technology, all expenses paid inclusive of tuition and accommodation.
Judge Majeed and his wife Yasim serve as Rasheed’s surrogate parents in the U.S. and have been her emotional support throughout her study years.
“It is very rare that you see someone from such a small community like Anna Regina…FIT is a top school in the USA and the world, and it is an opportunity of a lifetime for any student…Zimeena is a brilliant young woman with such a bright future ahead of her,” Judge Majeed stated.
According to him, Zimeena is well on her way to earning her PhD in Civil Engineering while still in her youthful age; a feat that many try and fail to accomplish.
“Because of her, the Guyana flag flew high, accompanied by the flags of many other International students at the University. Zimeena, another daughter of the soil has made Guyana proud once again.”