Hard work and determination paid off for Ms Sharren Peter, who graduated summa cum laude with an Honours degree in Forensics Genetics.
Peter lived by the motto: ‘Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.’ It was a dream come true, not only for Peter, but also her proud family.
Her passion and enthusiasm for forensics, science and genetics guided and led Peter to choose the field of forensics. Peter believes that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life, ‘hence, I chose to study what I love’.
Along the journey to her graduation, Peter faced a number of challenges, coupled with the passing away of her dad during her second year of undergrad. Her biggest hurdle was the financial constraints ‘as it caused a lot of difficulty in terms of tuition fees and even obtaining a laptop, which was crucial during the time of my research project,’ she said. ‘Despite the struggles, through perseverance, a positive attitude, a few people and the help of NSFAS funding I was able to overcome these issues,’ said Peter.
Aspiring to become a forensic analyst at the South African Police Service (SAPS), Peter intends on completing her MSC and PhD in the near future.
Her advice to undergraduate students was to never let circumstance determine what you can and cannot achieve. ‘Work hard, but also work smart and manage your time well. Help your peers whenever you can. The world is your oyster but never forget to be humble.’
Peter thanked both God and her guardian angel, her late dad, for her achievement. She also acknowledged her mother and brother for their support.
Mentor to Peter and PhD candidate at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Farzeen Kader, praised Peter as a motivated, outspoken yet humble individual and an absolute pleasure to work with.
When asked what inspiring greatness means to Peter, she said: ‘It means to bestow on others my knowledge and experiences and help them by influencing and motivating them to become the very best versions of themselves’.
Words: Zolile Duma