Above It All

Anastasia Wilmot not allowing HIV/ AIDS to imprison her mind

Armed with an unbridled spirit and a squeaky voice to go with her petite frame, Anastasia Wilmot* seemed very hard to rattled by the toughest of challenges in life. “I grew up with my grandmother, who was very loving but in strong way, so i guess i learnt how to bear things out from her,” declared Wilmot. 

However despite this strong-willed countenance, the 17-year-old Wilmot would go through a winter of tribulations in 2015 when she lost her grandmother and mother a month a part. “It was so hard on me, my grandmother had cancer and refused to do surgery, so things gradually got... read more

Above it All - Angelee’s refusal to let Kidney Disease limit her

Being a young and precocious baby, Angelee Bennett showed no major signs of ill health in her infancy, until she became three years old. “I got a call from her basic school teacher one day, who said she started to vomit, so I had to collect her and take her to the doctor,” reminisced  Marlett Bailey, Bennett’s mother. 

At first, the doctor said Bennett was dehydrated and recommended rehydration salt and panadol as a suitable remedy. Unfortunately, this did not improve her situation as her eyes became yellow and her illness got worse. As a result, she was  admitted to May Pen General... read more

Jamel refuses to let sickle cell slow him down

As part of a regular prenatal-care  procedure, Janet Campbell, Jamel’s  mother, was instructed by her doctor  to do a test for sickle cell while in her third  trimester. This was something the Lawrence  Tavern resident was unfazed by at the time,  because she was certain she did not carry the  sickle cell trait. At that time, she had never  been told by a doctor before that she had  sickle cell.  “When the result came back, they  told me I had a trait of it and they  needed to test his father next. Unfortunately,  he also had the trait. We  didn’t believe it at first, so he did  the test... read more

Percy B Aiden’s journey from a Juvenile inmate to a college student

Growing up in rural Jamaica, Percy B Aiden* was always known to be an introvert. His silence was further compounded by his nomadic childhood which had him back and forth from one parent’s house to the other. This came as a result of them trying to co parent the best way they knew how despite being living apart. 

With all this happening, it was hard for Aiden to focus on his GSAT exams, which he failed in 2010. Subsequently, he was placed at an All Age School in parish, where he tried to cope the best way he knew. “I was very quiet at school and to make matters worse, i had a very... read more

Martin Thomas Using his autism to shape his art Martin Thomas

For Martin Thomas,  who came to Jamaica at  eight months old, his  path to finding his  purpose has been a  contorted one with  many discouraging potholes.  “He could not talk up to age  four, and I became extremely  worried, so I took him to a doctor  where he was diagnosed with highfunction  autism. Of course, all this  was so new to me. I was in total  shock,” revealed Janice Hall  Thomas, Martin’s mother.  This news came three years after  his mother had made a conscious  decision to return to Jamaica after  living in England for 28 years.  “My husband and I wanted our  kids to grow up... read more

Challenges facing our teens Above it all logo

About two years ago,  I got a chance to chat  with some guidance  counsellors while at a university  seminar geared towards highschool  students. During breaks,  we would form a huddle and  talk about the challenges facing  our teens and how these  challenges can hinder their  academic growth, especially  when matriculating to a  university.

Some of the first-hand stories  they shared were very alarming  and sad; most centred around  the psychological effects of  being in an impoverished  situation, as well as living with  a disease like sickle cell.    It was clear that more  light... read more

Daidrian Laing passes seven CSEC subjects despite becoming pregnant in high school.

For much  of Daidrian  Laing’s  academic life, she  had been an astute  student who also  took pride in  being involved  in many extracurricular  activities.  Perhaps one of  the greatest  accomplishments for  the former Knox College High  School student was  being on the  school’s honour roll  for three consecutive  years. A feat which  required exemplary  mannerisms as well as an  above-80 per cent average.  “I was on the honour roll  from grade eight, which is  something that I was very proud  of, because I tried really hard,”  she stated.

Growing up, the St Ann resident  had... read more

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