Young Achiever: Isabelle on economic pathway
Isabelle Stone will study at Oxford University as the Bermuda Rhodes Scholar of 2019.
The 22-year-old will attend New College, Oxford, in October and pursue a master’s degree in the philosophy of economics.
Isabelle told The Royal Gazette: “It still feels pretty surreal. I’m almost ready for someone to take it away from me.”
Isabelle, from Paget, said that the scholarship would help her follow her passion of activism and social justice on the island.
She explained that she hoped to get into economic policy reform, as it would be the most effective way to enact change.
Isabelle said: “I think studying philosophy with economics in undergraduate is really what helped me because you got the analytical basis and the tool chest to explain your ideas, but you were also able to look at it on a human level and say why we should care.”
The scholarship’s focus on activism had convinced her to apply soon after graduating from Boston College in Massachusetts.
She said: “The message of it matched everything that I thought I wanted my education to incorporate.
“It was all about being an activist and going and trying to help in any way you can, which is really important to me.”
Isabelle was accepted to Oxford after receiving the prestigious bursary last November.
Initially, she had doubts over her eligibility for the scholarship because of its extensive requirements, and then the interview five months ago left her feeling “like I could sleep for five years after it”.
When a call came later that day told her that she had won it, Isabelle said that she felt “sheer delight”.
She added: “That day I had to go to work and I just felt like crying the whole time, so it was a big surprise, but a great surprise.”
Isabelle said that she hoped to come back to Bermuda to help create policies that would bridge the wealth gap of the island.
She said: “There’s a big push for economic production and having a healthy GDP, but then also there’s the side of it where you don’t want to make things better for some people by making it worse for others.
“I want to strike that balance of not making gross inequality within the society, but also helping Bermuda to get a better economy.”
She added: “There’s not a huge value on the study of economics here. I think it’s talked about a lot, but instead of having a set of Bermudian economists look at how policy effects legislation, it’s sort of a void in Bermuda. “Either way, I just want to be able to use my education to be able to bring something back here that I feel is really missing.”
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Charles Smith (1932-2019)
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