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Former Cashier Realises Law Dream

Former Cashier Realises Law Dream
Jennifer Begum (middle) with Family Benjamin Ram (from left), Parents Edward Reece and Zarina Reece after her Admission to Bar by Chief Justice Anthony Gates on May 18, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar.
May 20
11:21 2018


Jennifer Begum dropped out of university stud­ies because of financial constraints in 2007, but she always knew she’d have to go back if she wanted to be some­thing in life.

For almost six years she worked various jobs, including being a cashier at a McDon­ald’s restaurant.

But through it all she always harboured her dream to be a lawyer, put her head down and just worked.

All that hard work, struggle and sacrifice ended in tears of joy after Ms Begum was admit­ted to the Bar on Friday at the High Court in Suva.

Ms Begum, 31, paid tribute to her family, her parents and siblings and her fiancé for standing by her and helping her through the hard times and pushing her to realise her dream.

She said it was their support that enabled her to do well, graduate and be admitted to the Bar.

“After leaving USP because of financial constraints, I started working at McDonald’s as a cashier for three years,” she said.

“I did so many other cashier jobs, cook, house cleaning and I was also doing some volun­tary work with UN Women.”

Ms Begum said in 2013 her father told her to go back to school and she enrolled for her law course at the University of Fiji.

“Paying your fees and keep­ing your stomach full is not easy,” she said.

She added that this was when the Tertiary Education Loans Scheme (“TELS”) was being introduced.

“In the past, the Hindi-speak­ing Fijians were not allowed to study law on any kind of loan or scheme,” she said.

“I applied for the TELS loan scheme and this reduced the burden on my parents.

“The dream for me to become a lawyer has always been in­spired by my mother, it was one of her dreams that I would become a lawyer and she has always been on my back to complete my studies.”

She said studying law was not very easy.

At times, Ms Begum said, she lost hope, but she thanked her family and her fiancée for en­couraging her to keep on go­ing.

Edited by Epineri Kean


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