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Robinson Perinchief named Rhodes scholar

  • Oxford-bound: Ryan Robinson Perinchief is heading to Oxford University for a year

The founder of a group designed to boost leadership skills in young people has been awarded a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship.

Now Ryan Robinson Perinchief, who set up Future Leaders Bermuda, will spend a year at Oxford University in Britain.

The 23-year-old said last night: “I have no doubt that this experience is an opportunity for me to be a part of a collaborative and informative group of leaders who are committed to making meaningful contributions to the local and global community.”

Mr Robinson Perinchief, a former premier in the island’s Youth Parliament, will join 102 scholars from around the globe at Rhodes House in Oxford.

He thanked the selection committee for their faith in him.

Mr Robinson Perinchief added: “The complex history and significance of this award is not lost on me and I pledge to honour my ancestors, God and my local community in making use of whatever tools and benefits may come from it.

“In addition to the selection committee, I would like to show special appreciation to my parents, Tammy Robinson and Wayne Perinchief, and my extended friends and family, the Midland Heights Church crew, the Future Leaders team, and the community at large, for supporting and believing in me.”

Mr Robinson Perinchief has also served as the Bermuda delegate to the Commonwealth Youth Council and was nominated in 2019 for the Commonwealth Youth Awards for excellence in development work.

The Bermuda Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee administers the fully funded scholarship, which has been based at Oxford since 1903, and there is only one Bermudian student a year.

Candidates have to show academic excellence, leadership capabilities, achievement in extracurricular activities and a commitment to solving humanity’s problems.

Mr Robinson Perinchief studied law at Durham University in Britain and graduated in 2019 with a first-class honours degree after a year in Brazil as a Rotary Club exchange student.

He was awarded the John Steel QC Prize for Advanced Issues in Public Law while at Durham.

Mr Perinchief was also president of the university’s People of Colour Association and was honoured as one of “Britain’s 150 Most Outstanding Black Students” by Powerful Media magazine.

He also attended the Johns Hopkins University Centre for Talented Youth in Baltimore, Maryland, and has won the National Bermuda Outstanding Teen Award for Leadership.

Mr Robinson Perinchief went to school at the Berkeley Institute, where he was head boy, and left with triple honours in 2014.

He is the fourth Rhodes scholar from the school.

Mr Robinson Perinchief said he wanted to be “a source of information based on my personal experiences and insights that can help those who may come behind me”.

He advised other students to, “first and foremost, be your authentic self — you are your best advocate” when they applied for scholarships.

Mr Robinson Perinchief added: “Don’t ever limit yourself or underestimate your potential. Visualise what you want, be honest about what it will take to get there, and practise discipline in pursuit of your goal.

“Finally, do not allow your worth or your success to be defined by others’ selection of you — that applies for scholarships and life in general.

“In this way, you can be humbly confident in knowing that regardless of the outcome you have put your best foot forward.”

Mr Robinson Perinchief added he had a keen interest in social justice, advocacy and leadership, and wanted to learn about how to be “more impactful by undertaking a master’s in global governance and diplomacy and/or a master’s in public policy”.