Soaring higher

-We are pleased to share with you this poem written by fellow Illinois Tech student, Jeannette Roberts upon the occasion and celebration of her peers from the Caribbean as they graduated from IIT, May 2014.

– We are thankful to the support, friendship and professional engagement upon our arrival and throughout our studies at IIT that this group of individuals have provided to us; the Caribbean Visionaries have been a most gracious and welcoming community for all of the newly arrived students from Syria.

We are grateful and mindful of their path forward, and before we arrived, we watched their story told by the brief documentary: St Lucian Visionaries: A Journey Unfolds.


You left your country in search of hope, a better education

You fought with much opposition to reach your destination

Never have I seen students like you with all this drive and determination

You survived obstacles upon obstacles that came your way

Winter, difficult professors, financial constraints and most of all discouraging words people may say

“You’ll never make it”, “You don’t have any money so take a semester off” or “going to school

here makes no sense”

Well, take a look at yourselves, you’ve definitely showed your defense and differentiated between nonsense and common sense.

You topped all your classes and like Usaine bolt, you made it first to the finish line

No competition, not to your front your side or behind

Because of you IIT was nominated as the School with the highest overall GPA

Because as they say, hard work and sleepless nights surely pay,

Although it’s hard to see you go,

We must let you know

That we love you, we appreciate you, and we will miss you so,

The legacy you left behind will forever live on

Not only here at IIT, but far and beyond

To Alex and Indhi, I will surely miss your good cooking of bouillon and sous,

Please don’t forget to invite me over when you buy your expensive house

To Sharbacha, Jaeide and my Avery, thanks for assisting me with physics and chemistry

Had it not been for you guys, I would have been history

To Mechia, Marvel and Rachel, thanks for your great sense of humor,

You surely know how to entertain an audience, reminds me of my friend miss Soomer

Krystal and Sirgi, thanks for being there for me when I needed someone to talk to,

you surely brought sunshine to my rainy days and you didn’t have a clue,

And to all those I didn’t mention, you have impacted someone’s life one way or the other

It sad to see us part this upcoming summer.

To the family members, thanks for believing in your children

They couldn’t have made it without your moral, financial and spiritual support from way back then

Some students don’t have it at all,

So we thank you for being here and making this moment a memorable one for them all.

To Dr. Patton and all those who have made this endeavor a reality for us

On a scale of 1-10, I give you ten plus

You were always there for us when we needed you,

A mother, a friend, a confidant, a teacher, a role model, you have always been true

Graduants, I live you with these few words!

Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world

they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact.

It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is

temporary. Impossible is nothing!


Felicitaciones, Félicitations, Congratulations class of 2014!

Jeannette Roberts

About:  Jeannette Roberts is a senior Biology major at the Illinois Institute of Technology, with an endless passion to become a pharmacist. She has great interest in writing poems, short stories and skits. Prior to arriving at IIT, Jeannette attended the St. Joseph’s Convent Grenville, Grenada and T.A Marryshow Community College in St. George, Grenada. She taught science at the St. Joseph’s Convent Grenville for one year then left to fulfill her dreams at the Illinois Institute of Technology.  Jeannette is the recipient of an IIT Presidential Scholarship, and regularly leads STEM community service outreach projects in Chicago and in her home country of Grenada.  Jeannette’s anticipated graduation is May 2015.
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                  “Jeannette leading STEM outreach at TAMCC in Grenada.”
– Shukran. Thank you.
  The Editors, the IIT Syrian student blog

3 Comments Add yours

  1. gpdoyle says:

    St Lucian Visionaries: A Journey Unfolds

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — August 10, 2010 — The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) announced today that Goldman Sachs Gives, the donor-advised fund of the investment bank Goldman Sachs, would help fund scholarships for 29 St. Lucian students to attend Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) this fall. More than 250 St. Lucian students applied for an unprecedented 75 partial scholarships offered by the university. NSBE, Goldman Sachs Gives and the government of St. Lucia will help cover the balance of the fees not covered by IIT’s grants.
    “We thank Goldman Sachs Gives for its incredible generosity,” says NSBE Executive Director Carl B. Mack, who initiated the scholarship effort and solicited the Goldman Sachs Gives donation. “St. Lucia has many outstanding students, but because of a lack of financial resources, only 7 percent of its students attend universities. When the announcement was made through St. Lucia’s media about the IIT scholarships, people’s hopes soared.”

    The contributions from Goldman Sachs Gives were delivered from the accounts of individual partners. The support was organized by Goldman Sachs Co-CIO Steve Scopellite.

    “Goldman Sachs has worked with the National Society of Black Engineers for many years to extend access to math and science education,” says Scopellite. “This latest partnership will reach underserved students, opening opportunities for them as individuals and driving economic growth in their community.”

    “Illinois Institute of Technology is committed to preparing the next generation for undergraduate and advanced degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields. Students who excel in these fields will be tomorrow’s leaders in improving and advancing the human condition,” says Gerald Doyle, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Admission and Financial Aid, who recently returned from a visit to St. Lucia. “We are delighted to work with the faculty and students of Sir Arthur Lewis Community College and Rise to create these educational opportunities for outstanding St. Lucian students, and look forward to these 29 students arriving on the IIT campus.”

    Mack learned about the wealth of unused academic talent on the island while traveling there for business. He initially pledged to use NSBE’s resources to secure 10 scholarships for St. Lucians at U.S. universities. Back in the U.S. on July 4, he forged ahead with the plan and within days had an offer of 75 scholarships from the Illinois Institute of Technology. The scholarships cover 70 percent of the students’ fees.

    Since Mack landed in St. Lucia on June 28 for a week of motivational speaking engagements, “the National Society of Black Engineers, NSBE, has become a household name in Saint Lucia,” reported The Voice, St. Lucia’s largest newspaper, on July 13. Mack was invited to the island by a St. Lucian community service organization named RISE.

    The donation from Goldman Sachs Gives, and the St. Lucian government’s offer of loan guarantees, provided the remaining financial pillars and has made a university education possible for 29 students.

    “Getting these students enrolled at IIT represents true fulfillment of NSBE’s mission,” says NSBE National Chair Calvin Phelps, 23, the organization’s top officer. Phelps will travel to St. Lucia this month to present the scholarship grants to the students.

    “Nothing important comes without struggle,” says Mack, who led the NAACP’s top branch, Seattle King County, before coming to NSBE. “NSBE, Goldman Sachs Gives and IIT have now become valuable partners with the St. Lucian government and others in increasing educational opportunities for the nation’s youth.”

  2. gpdoyle says:

    A note from J. Roberts

    Jeannette wrote: “It is an honor to see my work being read all over the world. Apart from my school life, writing poems and skits has been something I enjoy doing as a leisure time activity. This is one of the ways I express myself and I intend not to stop here but to continue writing more. My dream one day is to see the publications of my hard work, as the first Caribbean/Grenadian woman to journey all alone to an Institution she knew nothing about, but helped shape her into the person she is today. My dream is to see my work infiltrate the four corners of this earth,used in plays and dramas and most importantly leave my readers astounded and wanting for me. The piece below was dedicated to some of the graduating students of the Caribbean Visionaries and Illinois Institute of Technology. They have journeyed to the IIT in search of a better education. Despite the different obstacles that came their way, they pushed on and gave it their all. These students are the products or should I say the cream of the crop of the Illinois Institute of Technology and the Caribbean on a whole.

    I would like to thank God for allowing me to be apart of this great community filled with great people such as Dr. Lydia Pettis Patton, Gerald Doyle and Iit Lisa Montgomery. Thanks for believing in me, supporting me and most of all, thanks you for your fine words of encouragement. I also would like to thank my parents, family and friends for believing and supporting me, for had it not been for them, I would not have been the person that I am today. With all this being said, I hope that we all would follow our dreams, forget all the negatives the world has to offer and soar higher.Soar Higher

    Jeannette Roberts “

  3. Melvin says:

    Impressed on sight, I gave you a lift to the apple store downtown on Saturday past. Remember? I have to say you are quite remarkable. I hope that you do not mind that I looked you up. Best wishes for success to you. Mel.

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