News Releases

In this together – A Married Couple’s Road to Graduation

For Release Upon Receipt - October 22, 2021

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago. October 22, 2021 –. The road towards securing an education never comes easy but married couple Satyum Rampersad and Leana Sookram-Rampersad never faltered in walking the road of academic success together at The University of The West Indies (The UWI), St. Augustine. “It requires a great amount of sacrifice, perseverance, dedication, prioritisation, and many sleepless nights of hard work to study”, said the 2021 UWI graduands as they recalled their experience.

Despite being unable to begin their journey to tertiary education immediately after secondary school, the Rampersads never allowed this obstacle to erode their hopes of securing a better education. Always believing that education is an integral aspect of life, Satyum and Leana didn’t settle for mediocrity. They knew that they needed “to fulfil their potential and The University of the West Indies presented an opportunity for this dream to materialise”.

Maintaining full-time jobs while attending school on evenings kept Satyum and Leana questioning whether they would make it. Recounting their typical afternoon journey, “prior to COVID-19, we commuted from Princes Town to St. Augustine on an almost daily basis, facing that gruesome evening traffic, rushing to class, and not having one spare minute to grab something to eat.” During this time, some days were harder than others and despite pursing differing programmes of study, they were always up to date with the other’s classes, projects, and deadlines”. The Rampersads said they always encouraged each other to keep striving, “We embraced our challenges together and celebrated our good days,” the couple explained.

No doubt a tough journey, they described time at the university as an emotional rollercoaster, “The birth of our precious son gave us that extra push to successfully close this part of our academic chapter,” stated Satyum and Leana. It was the unconditional love and support for each other which cushioned the ride.

Satyum and Leana expressed gratitude to God for his guidance and blessings throughout their academic journey and to their strong support system which has helped them attain success. “We both wish to sincerely thank Mr. Trevor Lutchman for all his administrative support over these past years”, said the couple. They also expressed thanks to their lecturers and tutors, especially Dr. Anand Rampersad, Ms. Marlene George-Mitchell, Ms. Fareena Alladin, Mr. Harold Pulwarty, and Mrs. Lue- Anda Francis- Blackman, who significantly contributed to their achievement, “We hope to see you in the near future, as the best is yet to come,” they said.

For others having a difficult time pursuing their education goals, the Rampersads offered some advice, “If any student is struggling, don’t give up. Progress is still progress, no matter how small or slow. Just don’t give up. Sometimes, only a few will genuinely be cheering you on and supporting your journey but work towards reaching your goal despite any adversities.” The couple insisted that a person should never be judged based on their family background or even the secondary school they attend. “When others say you won’t make it and call you a failure, prove them wrong!” is the Rampersads’ mantra for achieving victory along the academic road to success. 

Satyum will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Sector Management (Special) and Leana with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology with a minor in Psychology during The UWI St. Augustine Campus 2021 Virtual Graduation Ceremonies on October 28th to 30th 2021. Each ceremony will be broadcasted live via UWItv



About The UWI

For more than 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students across five campuses: Cave Hill in Barbados; Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda; Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago; and an Open Campus. Times Higher Education has ranked The UWI among the top 1,258 universities in world for 2019, and the 40 best universities in its Latin America Rankings for 2018 and 2019. The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists.

As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, and Africa including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Studies Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); The UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies and the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ). The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. For more, visit

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of “The”)