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Interview with Ywione Darrell

What are a couple of things that you love about growing up in Bermuda?

Growing up in Bermuda, I have been privileged with the opportunity to grow up in a small, close-knit community. I also love the beauty of the island: there is something that is calming about going to school every morning and seeing the reflection of the sun in the light blue waters.

When did you join Saltus, and from which Primary school?

I joined Saltus in Year 7 from Paget Primary.

Reflecting on your time at Saltus Grammar School, what have you enjoyed the most at Saltus?

During my time at Saltus, I have most enjoyed the small family atmosphere. Whether it was rooting for SGY2s in staff versus student matches or participating in Sports Day, I have always enjoyed this feeling of community at Saltus.

Do you have a favourite teacher or school tradition?

I believe my favorite teacher has been Mr. Rossides. He’s been one of the most supportive and candid people I know.

Describe your experiences of being a head boy?

As I’ve co-led the Saltus Prefect team, I’ve grasped the importance of communication, good faithed interaction and the ability to listen for understanding. With large teams, it is inevitable that there is someone who disagrees with your solution or believes there is a better way to proceed. Admittedly, it may cause anxiety for a well-thought out plan to face scrutiny, but I have realized that the suggestions and contributions others provide all are meant to improve outcomes. If I don’t truly listen, it could prevent positive progress. As a leader, I’ve grown comfortable with listening to others and delegating important tasks when appropriate.

What achievement are you most proud of?

I find helping to cultivate the minds of those younger than me incredibly fulfilling, and as such much of my community service involvement has been based around my participation in debate. From January 2019, I assumed the role of student coach for senior and middle school debate teams at Saltus Grammar School. This year, 2021, I attracted my largest group of middle school debaters since my appointment and, beginning in January, we prepared for the Bermuda Debate Society’s National Tournament. While I felt a lot of pressure due to my academic and Senior debate workload, seeing the students develop as debaters and individuals was rewarding.

The pandemic has been a huge challenge for all students, what were some of the challenges that you faced and how did you overcome them?

As a student in my senior year, I think the greatest challenge I faced was grappling with the lack of certainty resulting from this pandemic. Multiple times during this past school year, we’ve had school traditions rescheduled to later dates or even cancelled. For many of us, accepting the situation as it is and taking advantage of what is doable in the moment has made this issue more manageable.

When did you realize that you were interested in politics and economics?

I’ve been debating since Primary 3 and my interest in politics came gradually as the motions became more complex at each tournament. However, my interest in economics came during my Year 10 iGCSE Economics class. For me, economics explained and linked so many different issues that I’d previously had questions about.

Talk us through how you decided on choosing a course and university?

I remember it being around this time last year, May, I was looking at different economics courses in the various universities in the UK and I found that for most of them I needed to take Calculus BC to be eligible. I was a bit upset because I did not have the qualifications to study my dream course at university. By chance, I stumbled upon the Political Economy BSc/BA degree At Kings College London. At first glance, it seemed like a bit of a compromise but as I read more, I recognized that this degree was one of a kind throughout the UK and coupled two of the most infatuating topics into one. From that point, I was determined to achieve the necessary grades to study this course.

What are you excited most about studying in London?

I’m most excited about debating with King’s College London and meeting my classmates.

Where do you see yourself in the future after you graduate?

I am not set on my future career, my strong interest in economics, politics and social justice have piqued my interest in a career path that encompasses my interest in conducting research and case studies. This will allow me to be at the forefront of a reformation of our present system, which disenfranchises and alienates the working class, women, and non-white persons. Be it as a lawyer, policy maker, analyst, or even politician, I am optimistic that I can successfully have a positive and substantial impact on my community.

Is there a person that you aspire to?

I wouldn’t say that I aspire to be anybody, however I would say that I’m inspired by some people. My family, particularly my Aunty Melinda Williams, give me hope to do my best.

What advice can you give to other aspiring students in Bermuda?

While it may sound cliché, I would tell any aspiring student to simply follow their passion. As nerdy as it may sound, I love economics. While I did have suggestions to complete a law degree first, it didn’t feel right and I couldn’t see my education in economics coming to an end when I closed that AP exam booklet this May. This fixation has driven myself and many of my friends to pursue studies ranging from art therapy to political science.

What will you miss most about leaving Bermuda?

I will miss my friends and family most. After living here for so long, it’ll definitely take some getting used to wake up in the middle of London to hear honking horns instead of kiskadees or bluebirds.


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