The Power Of Perseverance

A Leave No Girl Behind Initiative: Youth inspiring youth


A contribution to Leave No Girl Behind by Ishara Ramkissoon

“In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins- not through strength but by perseverance,” is a quote by H. Jackson Brown that I continually live by.

One of my greatest motivators in life, other than the support of friends and family, is perseverance in the efforts of altering my future and achieving greater things. Success is not an easy path in life, paved only through hard work, determination and strength. All of which, one can only muster up in oneself.

Upon hearing about the opportunity to attend the Inauguration of American President Barack Obama in January 2009, I found myself faced with a new challenge and desire to attend this once-in-a-lifetime prestigious event. I immediately kicked into over-drive, determined to make this dream a reality. Having stayed up all night to overcome the time difference between South Africa and America on a number of occasions to phone, e-mail and fax the People to People Student Leadership Organisation, through which the programme was held, I set my muse into motion. After having endured numerous interviews via telephone and e-mail, I received confirmation that I was selected to attend this illustrious occasion; the only South African student to do so.

Representing my country abroad at a momentous occasion in world history is indescribable. Being from South Africa, with such a rich history in oppression and upliftment and then being able to attend the inauguration of the first African American president of one of the greatest nations in the world, made me proud not only as a South African, but as a child of Africa.

Throughout my experiences both abroad and locally, I learned that I am responsible for my future, my destiny. Only I can control my successes in life and that opportunity is a platform through which one can express their greatest talents and desires. The greatest way one will encounter opportunities in life is through empowering oneself through education; for intellect is a commodity that can never be depleted and opportunity has no boundaries.

Ishara Ramkissoon is a newly qualified medical doctor. Though hard work and commitment, she continually strives to achieve excellence academically and in all she touches. Her passion to help her community and uplift her country has led to her interest in the medical field. Ishara believes that one can change the world if one persists.