Imagine you are a top student in school. You work hard to get good grades. You focus on your subjects instead of just having fun. Unlike some of your peers, you keep your eyes on what lies ahead. Surely, if you keep up your hard work, your dreams will ultimately come true. You just need to finish school ...
But suddenly, everything stops.
This is exactly what happened to Trishna, a young woman in Dela Vega City. As a quiet, reserved teenager, making friends was not the easiest thing. Most people her age seemed too busy with the friends they already made to take much notice of her. So she kept to herself and clung to her family.
But when handed these lemons, Trishna resolved to make her own type of lemonade.
As she spent most of her time with family, Trishna poured her energy into being the best and most responsible daughter and sister she could. It wasn’t easy, but she ended up helping her parents care for her 3 younger siblings. While, admittedly, her patience was tested several times, this young girl discovered a genuine love for children. Meanwhile, she also threw herself into the role of ‘top student’ at school. She was constantly driven by the need to make both herself and her parents proud. Eventually, as a way to combine her love for children with her goal of being successful, Trishna began to dream of becoming a nurse.
So things were looking up… She had a goal in life, and she knew she had what it would take to see her dreams come true.
Facing the unexpected
Fast forward to the year 2017. Trishna had just finished her 10th grade exams. Just one more year was left in her journey to complete high school. But not everything was looking as optimistic as she had hoped at this point in her life. Her mother was no longer employed, and this ultimately took a toll. For a while, Trishna had nervously considered the possibility of them no longer being able to afford upcoming school fees. Despite this, she tried to focus on her work. But, as the school year came to a close, she could no longer ignore the chance of this becoming reality.
Her worst fear was confirmed. Trishna would not be going back to school. Her family simply didn’t have enough money to pay for the expenses associated with her schooling. In that one moment, all of her future plans seemed impossible. She was stuck. To make matters worse, she felt like people began looking down on her for not having a job. She was now in the same box as all those peers she had worked hard not to be like. Others now saw her as just another “lazy, ambition-less youth who can’t get a job”. Unemployed, with zero qualifications and overwhelming boredom, she now spent most of her days at home … praying for some semblance of the life she once dreamed for herself.
But she knew she couldn’t let the story end there.
Can hope survive?
After being out of a job for quite some time, Trishna’s story took another turn.
By now, she had moved out of Dela Vega City but still could find no job opportunities. One day, her stepfather told her about an upcoming program back in Dela Vega City called the “Young Adult Circle” (YAC). She heard that the program offered a variety of opportunities, but she got really excited when she heard about the possibility for further academic training. It had been so long since she’d been able to really stimulate her mind and learn new things … which she used to love doing. And, of course, maybe she could use this training to eventually find a job. Maybe, it could even lead her back to chasing her old dream.
She was accepted.
Trishna has now been a YAC member for over 3 months … And an impressive one at that. She has room to grow, but so far she has been one of the top YAC performers . Being in the program has also sparked in her the hope of new friendships. For years, she saw the faces of the current cohort of YAC members around, but never really got to know them, until now.
But, perhaps the most unexpected effect of the YAC, is related to her career. She’s still chasing a career in nursing, but she’s also exploring and being exposed to other career fields.
Trishna’s story could have been a lot different.
Her dream could have died at a young age, after leaving of school. But, instead she had parents who supported her entering the YAC program. She had loving community leaders who work with her in the program every single day. She has people like YOU who, without even knowing her, have helped to change her life by supporting our efforts to help Jamaica, one community at a time.
But, most of all she had a strong spirit within her that would not let her lose hope. She always believed in her ability to succeed, and she never lost her drive to work hard ...
She just needed a new opportunity to act on it.