Tariq Parker is 2015 Rhodes Scholar
Having been a whiz kid for most of his life, 23-year-old Tariq Parker moved one step closer to achieving his dream of becoming a neurosurgeon when he was named the 2015 Jamaica Rhodes Scholar.
The announcement was made yesterday by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen at King's House in St Andrew.
"I am still in shock. It's an exhilarating feeling, honestly. Everybody was so supportive throughout this procedure, and it's been quite a journey, I'm very happy," Parker told The Gleaner.
Parker said much of his inspiration is due to the fact that he is a proud Wolmerian.
"I attended Wolmer's Preschool, Wolmer's Preparatory School and Wolmer's High School. The motto is 'Age Quod Agis', which means 'Whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability', and that's what I strive to do with everything - to do it to the best of my ability - and that has contributed to my motivation throughout the years," he said.
"My support system, which involves friends, families and teachers, to name a few, has also been there for me, and that has got me here," Parker added.
After completing his master's degree in neuroscience at Oxford University in England, Parker intends to become a neurosurgeon.
"I always found the brain very fascinating. I was always an inquisitive person from a young age, and to me, the brain and mind was always a source of constant intrigue. I would read about the brain and always wanted to know more. Due to this, I always wanted to use my hands as a surgical specialist, so combining those for neurosurgery made the most sense," he continued.
Parker also provided words of advice for persons who aspire to become future Jamaica Rhodes Scholars.
"The overarching theme that people have been suggesting to me throughout this process is to be yourself. Always strive for the best, don't be afraid to be great because mediocrity is not what this is about. If you want to take your country to the next level, you have to be great," he stated.
Parker is currently a medical intern in the fields of obstetrics and gynaecology at the Spanish Town Hospital in St Catherine.