by Solana Gooding
Two weeks before the new school year started after a long-extended break due to Covid -19, a young man whom I hadn’t seen for some time, stopped in at my place of business to say hi, interested in hearing how he was doing, how were life and school going, his first reaction hesitant to talk about school.
We talked about his home situation, his parents not being well and father the main breadwinner no longer working. Being ready for form 4, with high school leaving exams just around the corner, became a major concern. With his family financial situation, the illness of his parents, there seems no possible way to consider even being able to or to even think about continuing his education. He had absolutely nothing he needs, no means to attain it, and had already begun to lose hope to do so.
His situation immediately kick-started a fire to work quickly to get him everything he needed to return and stay in school. In life, we are thought that people can take everything away from you, but the one thing they can’t is your education, it is up to you what you choose to do with it.
With various people throughout the community of Bequia, Union Island, St.Vincent, and as far as the US and Canada chipping in to help this young man, Jalon, even after most recently losing his mother, his spirits has been lifted as he finds encouragement in all the support he has received in such a short space of time. He is now back in school in his 4th year, currently enrolled in doing 11 subjects, and after several chats with his Principle Mr. Martin at the BuccaBay Secondary, he expects great things from him as he is a most willing student.
This is not the end, this success story gave birth to two other success stories, which later grew even bigger. A Little love, does surely help a lot. With the dedication of people who wanted to do and give more and the recent involvement of The Grenadines Initiative, hopping on board to get the word out, today over 15 students from throughout Bequia attending high school have been able to receive the necessary textbooks that they were unable to purchase themselves. Some students receiving as little as one to two books to others receiving up to 15 or more, with hopes that these books with encouraging words will be the push they need to drive them in the right direction.
“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
Thank you to those that gave their time, efforts, and donations and those that will continue to do so.
Solana Gooding is the owner of Solana’s in Port Elizabeth. This textbook initiative was all hers, and while she applauds those who contributed in various ways, we applaud her for having a great idea and then running with it.