Michelle Foster was born in Guyana, the oldest child of three. Her father was an accountant and her mother an educator. In an interview with the Charleston Gazette, Michelle said
“There was a lot of poverty, but we never knew it. My parents were great role models. They worked hard and valued education. They were always learning”
There were periods when we lived with our grandparents because my parents were always going to university.
In 1984, Michelle migrated to the United States at the age of 17. Even though the expectation that life in the US would be far better than what she experienced in Guyana, the early years were not a bed of roses. Michelle’s parents had to start over from scratch until they were able to make ends meet.
Michelle knew exactly what she wanted and science became an avenue for that success. She enrolled at City University of New York in the chemical engineering programme. In 1990 she graduated and was then offered a job with BP Research in Cleveland. And the story could have simply ended there, success was ensure with such a prestigious company and highly sought after skills.
That skill, chemical engineering brought Michelle to Charlestown and that’s where her focus shifted to solving the social problems in her community. Today Michelle is CEO of an organization that provides day care, employment and housing help, family planning, counseling and all sorts of other resources aimed at bettering borderline lives.
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For Guyanese living at home and abroad, Foster’s journey represent an inspiration. Over the past 5 years many Guyanese have become hopeless but stories of Guyanese who continue to excel serve as a reminder that there is hope for Guyana.