JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Twenty-four year old Sherona Forrester, who is a member of the Senior Female Football Team, is Jamaica’s 2016 Rhodes Scholar.
  • The announcement was made by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, during a ceremony at King’s House on November 19.
  • The humble but highly accomplished young woman topped a field of eight shortlisted candidates to win the covered scholarship to study at the prestigious Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

Twenty-four year old Sherona Forrester, who is a member of the Senior Female Football Team, is Jamaica’s 2016 Rhodes Scholar.

The announcement was made by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, during a ceremony at King’s House on November 19.

The humble but highly accomplished young woman topped a field of eight shortlisted candidates to win the covered scholarship to study at the prestigious Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

An economic statistician with a strong background in leadership, sports and the performing arts, Sherona will be pursuing a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Economics at Oxford, when she takes up the scholarship next year.

The University of the West Indies (UWI) graduate holds a Master of Science in Economics (Distinction); Bachelor of Science in Economics (Major); Bachelor of Statistician (Major); and an Associate Degree in Business Studies (Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination).

She is the recipient of many awards from UWI for excellence in sports and academics, including the Charles Kennedy Prize, Director of Sports Award, Certificate for Outstanding Performance, and Leadership in Sports Award.

Sherona said that while she did not expect to win the Rhodes Scholarship she knew she had a good chance.

Recalling the moment her name was announced, she said “the whole world stopped just for a second or so then I kind of replayed it to make sure that it was my name that was called and then I started smiling. I couldn’t believe it and I am still here kind of in the surreal of it all.”

Sherona, who is an assistant lecturer in the Department of Economics, UWI and tutor at the university’s Academic Support Unit, said the Rhodes Scholarship will enable her to continue her post graduate studies and ultimately pursue doctoral studies.

“I just want to thank the Lord for continually being on my side and being faithful to his servant and just ‘big him up’… A teacher once told me in high school that I am too talented to pay for my own education and she is one of the persons who encouraged me to apply for this scholarship,” she informs.

The Governor-General congratulated the nominees on their achievements and wished them continued success.

“We had some exciting and articulate scholars and they all came with very good ideas of where they want to go and we enjoyed the experience,” he said.

Jamaica’s Secretary to the Rhodes Trust and Secretary of the Jamaican Selection Committee, Peter Goldson, said the committee is amazed by the quality of candidates that vie for the award each year.

He noted that this year’s candidates, who are all from the UWI, “were truly impressive” and “we wish we had more scholarships to give.”

He said Sherona stood out as apart from her academic and sporting achievements, “she is someone who really shows concern for the underprivileged in the society and the committee felt that she is someone, who will really make an impact, and in the words of the Rhodes Trust ‘will fight the world’s fight’.

Sherona, who hails from Mineral Heights in Clarendon, attended Glenmuir High School, where she served as head girl from 2009 to 2010. She has eight siblings, including a sister in first year at Norman Manley Law School and a brother, who is a mechanic in Cayman.

In addition to football, Sherona also excels in netball and basketball.

She was female captain of the UWI Mona Contingent for UWI Games 2013 and 2015; Captain, UWI Female Basketball Team, 2012-2013; Director of PEACE Chorale (Preston Hall, UWI, Mona) 2011-2012; Captain, UWI Senior Netball Team, 2011-2012; Member of UWI REACH (UWI Mona), 2011-2012; Facilitator in UWI Sports Department’s Sports Clinic Initiative, 2011-2013.

Sherona was also Vice President, Glenmuir High School Choir 2009-2010; Captain, Jamaica Under 17 Female Football Team, 2007; Captain, Glenmuir High School Netball Team, 2004-2010; and is a founding member of the Jamaica Youth Chorale.