Dr Esther Pope, 26, holds a Bachelor of Medical Science degree and a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree, both with distinctions.
She has been nominated in the 2021 National Youth Awards, hosted by the Ministry of Youth Development and National Service in the category Youth Leadership: Student Award Ages (18-35) by MP for Laventille East Morvant Adrian Leonce.
Pope’s demeanour, attributes and down-to-earth personality endear her to people who meet her; she is still shy, humble and soft-spoken like when she was a little girl. That had not changed even when she was a 19-year-old national scholarship winner.
She has that quiet, determined ambition and is still not comfortable in the spotlight. However, she inspires residents and children from Beetham Gardens with her achievements in the medical field. They are proud of her, and she is also proud of them.
Pope volunteers her time giving COVID-19 vaccination shots at strategic sites throughout the country.
In a touching moment, or To Miss, With Love, the former St Francois Girls’ College student gave back to her English teacher Ms Maxine Archer by administering COVID-19 vaccines to her children.
Speaking to the Sunday Guardian on Wednesday Pope said “I was born at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital. I hail from Beetham Gardens, more specifically Phase 4.
“I grew up in a household with my mother and three siblings but have four additional paternal siblings.
“I want to continue to be a role model for the youths in my community and by extension, T&T. To inform them that they are not defined by their surroundings and hard work pays off.”
She said as an infant, she attended the All In One pre-school located at Phase 5 Beetham Gardens. Pope then went on to Success RC Primary School and was involved in Track and Field which she enjoyed. On completion of the SEA examination, she passed for her first choice; St Francois Girls’ College.
Pope confided that she was both nervous and excited at that point transitioning to secondary school. At St Francois, she was involved in Track and Field and played volleyball where she was captain for two years. Pope was also a school prefect and part of the Student’s Council.
While in secondary school, she started to volunteer at the Loveuntil Foundation, seeing it as a way to help the youths in her community. She shared that when she was a young child she aspired to be a teacher but soon discovered that she had a love for the Sciences as well.
The experience of having both grandmothers pass away, only months apart, due to Non-Communicable Diseases helped guide her career path. Pope added that they were both very young and death could have been prevented if they were educated on their medical conditions.
It was a combination of wanting to educate people who did not have access to certain knowledge and her love for the Sciences that guided her decision to become a doctor.
According to Pope, she did the CSEC and CAPE examinations at St Francois Girls’ College and was a recipient of a scholarship in Natural Sciences.
Pope then applied to the UWI, St Augustine to pursue a degree in
Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), she was accepted but was deferred for a year.
During that year, she took the opportunity to host July/August vacation classes, as well as continue her volunteer work at the Loveuntil Foundation.
Pope revealed that several junctures on her journey were not without difficulty. There were financial issues as her mother worked at a very low-income job and her father was a market vendor.
She stressed, however, that her mother ensured she had what she needed, not only financially but also emotionally and physically.
Pope’s father also did what he could. On the other hand, she had a lot of supportive siblings, friends, teachers and even coaches along the way.
When she officially entered medical school in 2015, it was a very high-paced environment and she had to quickly adapt.
Pope obtained her Bachelor of Medical Science degree in 2018 and her MBBS degree in 2020, both with distinctions. She then completed a year of medical internship and had reapplied for employment.
Currently, Pope is considering furthering her studies in Internal Medicine or Obstetrics and Gynaecology, but her options are still open.