Grand Bahamian John Poitier Jr., 18, has been named Freshman of the Year at Virginia State University. Poitier spoke to ZNS News recounting how he came to apply for the honour.

He said, “there was an application for it and my friend suggested that I apply for it. But because there’s this gigantic number of freshmen here at VSU, you know my class is one of the largest classes ever accepted into the school, and so I didn’t exactly think that there was a great likelihood of me getting it. I truly believe that to be outstanding it required more than just my GPA but also my character as a person and the things that made me me.”

The aspiring doctor advised other Bahamians in university to keep the faith. “I know for me personally I applied to every single school I could apply to, that was possible for me to apply to. I did that for the scholarships, keep in mind, I also did it because you can’t give up. You can’t, even for a second, you can’t say I can’t do it. You can’t say can’t and I had to realize that. You have to believe that you can do it in order for you to do it.”