Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Former Morant Bay High student blazes the track in the US

Published:Thursday | June 1, 2017 | 6:00 AMShanna Monteith
Oshane Thomas (foreground) runs to the finish line.

"As I reflect upon my past, I don't see how I can be any more proud of my accomplishments than I am today," said Oshane Thomas, who recently graduated from Lake Superior State University (LSSU) in Michigan, USA.

A resident of Lyssons, St Thomas, the young man, even from an early age acknowledged that in order to get ahead in life, one must establish a balance between talent and academia.

Thomas, who attended Morant Bay High School and later Kingston College, was not only a top performer in the classroom, but also on the track, traits which easily secured him a five-year full scholarship to study overseas.

Now the proud holder of a bachelor's of science degree in biochemistry with high honours, and records in various track events, Thomas expressed that there's no clear passage to success.

"The journey was long, exhausting, and filled with financial difficulties, but somehow, my commitment, resilience and positive attitude lead me to the end. As I reflect on my past experiences, they include countless days of looking towards hope for a better life, my mom selling snacks by the health centre, my dad working hard to make ends meet, and great friendships that had propelled me to and through college, to bring me to this moment," he reflected.

Crediting also his alma mater, Kingston College, Thomas said the institution helped his track career to grow exponentially, opening several doors of opportunities for him which paved his way to college and, ultimately, his most valued accomplishments.

 

GREAT EXPERIENCE

 

"At LSSU, I met some of the greatest people in my life. I remember spending one summer as a student researcher in a cancer research, synthesising potential anti-cancer drugs, and another as tutor and counsellor for over 60 high- and middle-school kids at a summer camp," said Thomas.

He added: "I am always grateful for every opportunity I get to learn something new and help others. I think the highlight of my studies was actually learning genetic engineering techniques; this led me to successfully clone E. coli cells with a phytase gene isolated from a particular bacterium, then further optimised the expression of the gene as my senior thesis," he said as he expressed his gratitude to the LSSU community for what he described as their never-ending support and contribution throughout his collegiate career.

Almost competing with his academic achievements are the numerous awards the 24-year-old received for his participation in sports.

Thomas told Rural Xpress that he was accepted to pursue a master's of science degree in pharmaceutical biochemistry at the Montclair State University and is hopeful that he will be presented with another scholarship to cover the cost.

rural@gleanerjm.com