Nov 30, 2020 News
“At first, I was nervous to go out there and speak for the first time because you can never make a second first impression so after I gathered myself, I was able to deliver myself. I was able to add to the excellence that already exists in my family. I have four members in my family who are already lawyers and even if I am the first, second, or third, at least I was able to add to the family name and was able to make my parents proud.”
By Romario Blair
Kaieteur News – “Hard work is a challenge, but challenge doesn’t work hard.” Those are the words of Twedale Marks, now a former law student, who despite the challenges before her, defied the odds and was admitted to the Bar.
Twenty-three year old Marks is a native of the culture-rich community of Queenstown, located on the Essequibo Coast. Last Thursday, she was admitted to the Bar by Chief Justice Roxane George-Wilshire at the Demerara High Court.
During an interview with Kaieteur News Saturday evening, Marks revealed that the urge to practice law, somewhat runs in her DNA as several family members are already a part of the noble profession. She went on to explain, nevertheless, that her love for the profession had to be self-cultivated.
According to Marks, there was something about fighting for a safe environment and the rights of humans that sparked her interest. “At law school, you do everything but it is my goal to specialize in environmental law or human rights law. For environmental law, Guyana is a very beautiful country, and we depend heavily on our flora and fauna but we’re in a position where everyone wants an industrial society, I think in trying to get this industrial society in this country, we should try to look at sustainable development and not just economical development, I feel as if we implement certain laws and enforce them, there should be a balance and lawyers should be there to ensure there’s that balance,” she explained.
Marks attained her secondary education at the Anna Regina Secondary school. She is part of the class of 2013. As a student of the Arts stream, she was engaged in the Student Rep. Council and the Prefect body through which she was able to sharpen her social skills. She eventually graduated the Anna Regina Multilateral Secondary as the best graduating Arts student.
Her academic life continued at President’s College where she studied Law and Environmental Science.
In 2015, she graduated from that institution as the best law student and was awarded the Toussaint Boyce Award. In 2015, she enrolled at the University of Guyana.
While at the University of Guyana, Marks went on to participate in a number of activities.
According to her, “I was a volunteer for an NGO called Voice Guyana. While volunteering there, I helped primary school students to develop their speech and writing skills. At UG, I was co-chair for Moot Court Guyana, a student group within UG, which helps to develop law students’ skills in court ethic and court presentation. In 2018, I also participated in the Caribbean Court of Justice Annual International Mooting programme.”
Most of us will no doubt agree that dealing with challenges can be a daily struggle, even if we intend on living life one day at a time. In the case of a ‘country girl’ leaving for the big city for a major undertaking, challenges were bound to come her way.
As Marks went on to explain, one of her greatest challenges was “during environmental changes, my fingers and limbs would swell and apart from being painful, it makes it difficult to attend classes. So there were days when I would stay home from school… despite that, I still tried to push myself to make it to school.”
Marks’ parents, Lynden and Lylette Marks, live a relatively simple life. Nonetheless, the education of their four children has always been of paramount importance. Her father, who is a mechanic and rice farmer, worked along with the support of his wife, to make their children’s dreams a reality. Since her youngest sibling was also attending med-school, Marks explained that there were times when there were financial difficulties.
With tremendous support from friends and families, Marks said that her challenges dwindled to a point that they were non-existent. “I am very grateful for my friends who supported me. I wasn’t in anyway disadvantaged because they helped me when I couldn’t make it to class,” said Marks.
In explaining how she remedied her financial difficulties, she said, “at the time, my father had to send my younger sister to med school and I was at law school, so it was challenging. But the saying ‘one, one dutty build dam’ proved true since my relatives pitched in finances that helped with rent and so forth. Again my friends and I would share food stuff and we made it through.”
Marks told Kaieteur News that COVID-19 was a challenge for a number of reasons too. She went on to say, “In March, I thought I was going to enjoy my life after my exam. But the school decided to change the format of the exam. It just made my condition with my finger and toes worse. I started to panic more because it was a situation, which I had no control over.”
Due to travel restrictions, which were as a result of COVID-19, Marks almost missed her exams in July. She explained, “I was in Trinidad at the time when the travel restrictions came out. I only managed to come home a week before my exam.”
According to Marks, she feels an overwhelming sense of accomplishments, as she reflects on the challenges she overcame, not just independently, but with the support of her family and friends. When asked to describe her feeling as she was about to be admitted to the Bar, she said, “At first, I was nervous to go out there and speak for the first time because you can never make a second first impression so after I gathered myself, I was able to deliver myself. I was able to add to the excellence that already exists in my family. I have four members in my family who are already lawyers and even if I am the first, second, or third, at least I was able to add to the family name and was able to make my parents proud.”
BRIGHTER DAYS AHEAD
As mentioned earlier, challenges are inevitable. While Marks has accomplished quite a lot thus far, there is still the challenge of seeking employment. Since she has already earned some working experience, she is optimistic that she will soon be meaningfully employed.
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