Himchand Persad is a second year petroleum engineering honors student at the University of Texas at Austin. He is an international student from the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago, and is actively involved in a number of energy and community outreach ventures.
Persad is the president of Opportunity Foundation, an international non-profit focused on assisting impoverished children in Trinidad and Tobago through a tutoring curriculum that develops entrepreneurial skills. The initiative recognizes the social ills that often plague developing nations, and promotes education and entrepreneurship as instruments to uplift communities. Tutors and mentors (both national and international) are primarily university students, industry professionals, religious leaders, politicians, and business owners who are passionate about creating a positive impact in communities across Trinidad and Tobago.
Solutions to the world’s biggest problems need diverse and innovative perspectives and Persad aspires to grow Opportunity Foundation to be a part of this. The Foundation aims to create an environment which promotes the success of disenfranchised youth by developing their talents and entrepreneurial drive. The unique differentiator of this initiative is its focus on entrepreneurship—startup workshops are planned to be held throughout the semester during which the children themselves will lead teams in identifying problems in the community and society at large. They are then paired with mentors who guide the development and implementation of their proposed solutions. This effectively translates into a non-profit model that sustainably creates social entrepreneurs. The impact is propagated throughout the society, and potentially across the globe.
Professionals and students interested in being a part of this initiative can contact Persad at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are opportunities to be mentors, tutors, development coordinators, ambassadors, and sponsors—each role actively influences the organization’s growth and impact.
Energy fuels development, and Persad believes that despite an evolving energy mix, oil and gas will continue to be an important part of the equation for global development. As a future petroleum engineer, he is driven to utilize his technical and entrepreneurial skills to contribute to the success of communities across the world. This summer, he is interning at EOG Resources in Texas.