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Twin success for Marion and Jonathan

FAMILY SUCCESS: (left to right) Jonathan Brooks-Barlett, Jacqueline Brooks, Marion Brooks-Bar- lett and the twins’ godfather Nathaniel Johnson

TWINS MARION AND Jonathan Brooks- Barlett are now synchronised intheir academic achievements, with both receiving doctorates from two of England’s most prestigious universities. Jonathan, 27, passed his PhD in systems biology at Oxford University in October, paving the way for a career in data science.

His sister Marion is hoping to pursue a career in product innovation after receiving a doctorate in material physics at University College London (UCL) a year before her brother. Recalling the moment he received his PhD, Jonathan said: “It was a surreal experience. And it is taking me a little while to adjust to being addressed as a doctor.
“My advice for youngsters who want to study at univer- sities like Oxford is to become self-motivated. Nobody is going to look out for you more than yourself. Set goals and be willing to go the extra mile.”

Marion who is now working for the Royal Society of Chem- istry, as a publishing editor hopes her family’s accomplish- ments will inspire others. Speaking to The Voice, she said: “Our achievements demonstrate what people from the Caribbean can accomplish, with the right encouragement and direction."

“In the future, I want to steer myself back into the field of chemistry and enter product innovation. The academic competition continues between me and my brother but I’m happy the family has an additional doctor."

The twins’ mother Jacqueline Brooks was ecstatic at her children’s achievement. The former lecturer said: “The fact that I raised my children as a single parent has made their accomplishments parents have a huge role in assisting their children to be self- motivated.

The Croydon based doctor – who is hoping to use his analytical skills to identify key health care trends – would like more parents to take an active role in their children’s development. He said: “Parents want the best for their chil- dren, but many do not provide enough commendation when they achieve academically, but instead criticise when mistakes are made.”

Five years ago, the twins both achieved firsts in their undergraduate degrees; Jonathan in maths at Southampton University and Marion in chemistry at UCL, before they both went on to further education by studying for a PhD.

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