DEAR COUNSELLOR: Teens & parent separation

Dear Counsellor,
I am a 15-year-old youth and my world is falling apart. I board away from home, and recently on my midterm visit, I learnt that my father moved out of our home and is now living in a nearby community with his girlfriend. I am devastated. I am angry, numb, not interested in school, and I have been experimenting with marijuana. My mother is crying all the time, and is having difficulty in finding money to support the family. I want my father to come back home.
Yours truly, K.W.

Dear K.W.,
Grief is personal and what you are experiencing is typical of... read more

I can’t get over my grandma’s death

Dear Counsellor,
I had lived with my grandmother since I was a year old. My mother is overseas and I get to visit with her for the holidays, and she comes and goes. My father was killed in a motor vehicle accident in October 2014. My grandmother passed away two weeks ago and the pain I am feeling is too great. I am now living with my aunt. My aunt had lived with us (Grandma and me) before, so I am in the same home. My aunt insists that “I should get over it and move on”. Grandma provided for my schooling and needs in her will. I am not functioning well in school and I do not feel... read more


Dr Karla Hylton explains a topic to Zoe.

Just a few years ago, a then 14-year-old Zoe Alberga had little interest in academics and was more focused on socialising with her friends. By grade 10, however, hit by the sudden realisation that Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams were fast approaching, Zoe decided to get serious about her studies. That shift in mindset, coupled with months of hard work, has led Zoe to CSEC success: earning seven distinctions in biology, chemistry, physics, accounts, mathematics, English language, and literature, and a two in French.

“To be honest, I was very surprised about my... read more

WOULD YOU RATHER: Are you addicted to social media?

Social media may very well be the most defining feature of our generation. Many of us are accused of being addicted to social media and the many people and experiences available to us through it. The scenarios below may help you realise just how much you love social media and all that it offers.

You enjoy social media and have gained hundreds of followers over the years because of the pictures and funny videos you’ve posted. You’ve applied for a summer job as an intern for one of Jamaica’s biggest corporations. As an intern, you are told you would mainly be filing papers. However,... read more

Teens and relationships with benefits

Dear Counsellor:
I am a 16-year-old female. I live in a rural community, one in which there has been very little development and not enough opportunity for financial or social growth. I just completed my CSEC examinations and I must say it was a challenge. I received two distinctions and three credits. I am also a PATH beneficiary. My ambition is to continue my education at the six-form level to pursue my dream of becoming a lawyer. This is my challenge ... the young ladies in my community are expected, at my age, to be either living with a boyfriend or pregnant. My parents are not... read more

Motorsports at 14 Alan Gordon is aiming for the top

Our Jamaican youth are constantly showing us that it’s never too early to start grooming our passions into an active lifestyle. Fourteen-year-old Jamwest motorsport driver Alan Gordon is on the road to doing just that.

"I like the adrenaline rush, the feeling you get when you’re pulling up to the starting grid and your heart starts pumping really hard."

“My dad first bought me a convertible car, a small one, and I started drifting around on the dirt,” Gordon told Youthlink, describing how he became interested in motor racing at seven years old. However, it wasn’t until two to... read more


If we were to all agree on a single stretch of time that everybody loves, that time would probably be the weekend. It’s conventionally upheld as the break from work and school which allows us to enjoy some extra sleep, relaxation and stress-free activities. There comes the undesirable circumstance, however, when, sometimes, people have to give up their weekend to work or engage in a different kind of stressful activity – e.g., chores! Although some of us just won’t sacrifice our precious weekends for anything, what if the circumstances are unusually pressing, like in the scenarios below?... read more

What a difference high school made

A young Kareem LaTouche(Left).Youthlink coordinator Kareem LaTouche(Right)

After leaving Jessie Ripoll Primary, where I was taught by my Aunt Lorna, who you could never tell was related to me by the way she caned me, high school seemed like this grand stage. The first time I walked on to Jamaica College’s grounds, I felt intimidated by its sheer size. Being at a school on more than 10 acres of land was nothing I had experienced in my 12 years of living.

At that time, the school was predominantly known for track and field and the student population had long shifted from soley upper class to a mixed cohort that reflected the rise of the lower- and middle... read more

My family disgusts me

Dear Counsellor,
My family disgusts me. Most times, I am embarrassed by their interactions, their lack of education, how they speak and how little we have. They are mostly uneducated, backward in their reasoning, and I find that I do not want anyone to know who they are. I believe that as soon as I am able to, I will want to change my name and never look back. I have worked through my guidance counsellor to achieve a scholarship that will take me through my final year of high school and after that, I am out! My mother keeps asking me about graduation, but I do not want any of them to... read more


Campion College fourth-formers (from left) Maijani Hall, Gavia Christie and Matthew Jenkinson are happy to help with the removal of garbage from the environment.

The battle against garbage polluting Jamaica’s beaches saw a brave effort by GraceKennedy Limited (GKL), one of several corporate entities which participated in the 2018 International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Day.

This year, the GraceKennedy team collected a total of 3,342.2lbs of garbage and 1,171lb of recyclable plastic (over 4,500lb of waste) from Buccaneer Beach and Gunboat Beach along the Kingston Harbour.

Leading the Herculean task on behalf of GK was the GraceKennedy Foundation, which had the support of 257 volunteers comprising board and staff members, their families,... read more


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