Sat | Jan 23, 2021

Asher Garwood overcomes loss of parents, creates a path to success

Published:Sunday | October 25, 2020 | 12:12 AM

Asher Garwood
Asher Garwood

Asher Garwood, 18, is on his way to realising his dream of becoming an actuary. It is what he has worked towards throughout secondary school.

When revealing what his philosophy was, he was quick to quote Marcus Garvey: “God and nature first made us what we are. Then out of our own creative genius, we make ourselves what we want to be.”

Garwood further expounded on this by stating: “One is not confined to the circumstances they are born into.”

He said that his mother always told him that he had a gift from God, that his intellect would take him far in life. However, it was not until her passing in 2016 that he truly understood her words and realised that she saw a greatness in him that he never saw in himself.

“I was never truly poor,” he recalled, “but I always envisioned a better life for myself, and it was not until recently that I realised this better life was within my grasp. There are many paths to success. Education is the path I have chosen to take. My father’s passing in July 2020 was the true test. It was at that point that I realised that I have to live in a way that would please both my deceased parents and I would do so by using my gifts to better myself and create for myself the life my parents knew I could have. I want to live up to their expectations.”


“My life has been challenging, but I have persevered. My mother’s death shook me, but I held strong and completed high school. Likewise, my father’s death was heart-wrenching, but I will complete my studies, nonetheless. “

Garwood was recently awarded the Burger King Open Scholarship of $900, 000, payable over three years, and is heading to The University of the West Indies (UWI) to study actuarial science. He was elated and attributes his success to having demonstrated considerable strength and maintaining a high academic standard under the most trying circumstances. “This scholarship will allow me to focus on my studies and not be worried about paying for my tuition.”

Although COVID-19 has delayed face-to-face classes, Garwood is still excited to be studying at The UWI. “I aspire to be an actuary, specifically working in the insurance field just as my mother did. With help from my family and this scholarship, I will complete my schooling and land myself a job in my dream field, after which I could, in turn, give back to my family, who have done so much to get me where I am today.”