Interview with Founder
Washington, United States
In what way does the vision of Dream Jamaica relate to your personal story?
I grew up with a strong mother in a loving home; I was nurtured by a supportive environment at church, at school, and in the community. I was always encouraged to excel and to set and achieve big bold audacious goals. I never thought anything was impossible! I was never told I couldn’t do anything; I was told that if I worked hard, I could achieve any dream I had. The people around me had high expectations of me. This foundation helps me achieve my goals in life.
With an ever-increasing number of remote parents (i.e., Jamaicans migrating to be able to provide food, clothes, and shelter for their families), young people are often left with relatives or friends, who oftentimes don’t provide a supportive environment. As a result, crime is rampant, moral decay is rife, and ambition among students is waning primarily because they don’t see how dreams can be realized.
I would like Dream Jamaica to inspire students to dream, and furthermore, to provide the means by which they can achieve those dreams so that we can reverse the unfortunate trends among young people.
What are the main problems confronting the population of youth you want to serve?
The main problems confronting young people in Jamaica are:
- the missing link between smart work and success (due to the influence of get-rich-quick schemes, including “successes” in
the music industry);
- lack of strong family structure and supportive environment;
- too much passive time (e.g., too much time spent watching TV);
- grim reality, including high crime in Jamaica (e.g., university graduates who can’t find employment >> why, then, should
they bother going to university?);
- limited exposure.
What do you wish to accomplish primarily?
The priorities for Dream Jamaica are to provide:
high-impact summer opportunities for young people;
support for young people throughout the year with strong mentoring relationships;