"It takes chaos within oneself to give birth to a dancing star," were the first poetic words that emitted from this vessel of ever-flowing compassion and zeal. Always touting strong words of encouragement, this outstanding young lady is now majoring ids Psychology at the University of the West Indies --as she has her sights set on her future ambitions and dreams to help people to heal the COVID-19 trauma.
Ayana landed her first full-time job from Dream Jamaica's Internship Program
Meet Ayana, a young lady with a strong ambition and a love of learning. Earlier this year, Ayana had the opportunity to intern at the new prominent business hotel in Kingston (Pogas Suites). According to Ayana, this internship has helped her to apply her knowledge about work ethics that she learned when she was in our College Prep Cohort, while also obtaining job experience. This internship gave her the opportunity to put the abilities she had learned over the years to use. During this internship, she would help with reception, administer social media accounts marketing strategies for the enterprise, as well as conduct graphic designing for these advertising. Pogas Suites chose to keep her on full-time for this initiative due to her commendable work ethics.
Bigger plans ahead!
She aspires to be a clinical psychologist within the next five to ten years. She does, however, emphasize the importance of managing her time in order to complete schoolwork while remaining socially connected in her environment. However, with the ongoing inspiration of the Dream Jamaica's, she is constantly working on this to boost her own development.
"Dream Jamaica has been a fantastic experience!" she exclaimed.
In early 2019, she enrolled in the Dream summer camp. She has only got positive things to say about this organization since then. She then emphasized the importance of Dream Jamaica in her life. These included the ongoing drive she received as well as the inspiration she received. This was accomplished through the provision of resources, amazing mentors, and inspiring role models to help develop her ambitions.
From tremoring to present, to being an active initiator
Ayana came to Dream Jamaica when she was very shy, and did not know how to cope with it. During her review of herself, a metacognitive assessment that is done in a 10-part portfolio she was guided through by her Cohort Coordinator, Jodi-Ann, Ayana wrote very strongly about being extremely affected by this.
Three years later, Ayana served as the core element of our program. In 2021, while Ayana was getting ready to start the Internship Cohort, she also volunteered to participated as a volunteer to help and plan the program for the younger students. The entire Dream Jamaica family is extremely appreciative of Ayana and we are extremely proud of her transformation.
"Are you shy?" a person I met recently asked that question instantly. It is just obvious that I too always ask myself. Being shy or plagued with anxiety has a big impact on my life. I remember this event in grade 10 , when I was doing a group presentation. It was my turn to read, and I couldn’t stop shaking. You could hear the tremors in my voice. I’ve been presenting from grade 7 but I never got used to it. I wasn't aware that I was shaking until a group member stopped me and asked if things would be better should she hold the paper from which I was reading. I was so embarrassed. But, unfortunately, it wasn’t my only awful experience. I often wonder if I’m at fault for not socializing or participating in class activities enough.
Recently, I became one of the four individuals in my entire school eligible for a scholarship to continue pursuing my education to grades 12 and 13 --and where I am from, that is a big feet because most students stop school at grade 9. For this scholarship we were to be interviewed and our grades from CSEC considered.
I know not to compare myself with others, but those other girls did not have the same problem as I did; they were bold and not easily intimidated as I was.
When it was my turn to enter the room I entered with confidence because I remembered Marcus Garvey quotes “If you do not enter a race with confidence, you are twice defeated.” But, when I sat down in that chair, I lost that feeling of confidence. By the time they asked my name; my voice was cracking --I was cold as ice, my stomach filled with butterflies and mouth felt like gravel. At each question they asked, all my thoughts danced up and down while I had five individuals staring at me expecting extraordinary answers.
When the interview was over, my eyes were filled with tears either of joy or disappointment but as I left the room I heard one of the interviewers saying “she was nervous” it only caused my eyes to be filled to fill even more -- and to the brim. I was disappointed in myself, I still am.
I’ve watched others ran pass me but I was unable to move because of these shackles holding me in a place called “I am Shy”. This was something I am suffering from, I want to overcome someday and would love to help others who have suffered like me.
- Extract from Ayana's Portfolio