A Story of Determination (Jelysa Richardson)

JelysaRichardsonBasseterre, St. Kitts–After graduating from the Cayon High School in 2009, Jelysa Richardson found herself in a position where she was unable to find a job. Indeed this is not much of a peculiar situation for youth in the Federation but Jelysa possessed an attitude that is not very common. She was determined to make something of herself. And so, she chose to do what many may not have even thought of, she began to assist her brother on his small farm and do odd construction jobs whenever the opportunity arose.

In September of 2012, she signed up for the National Skills Training Program simply because someone encouraged her to do so. Although uncertain of what to expect, she believed her involvement in the skills training program will give her an edge over her competitors who are all seeking stable employment opportunities. It was there that she learnt of the A Ganar program and she willingly embraced any opportunity to empower herself. She is now crediting the A Ganar program for providing her with the skills she needed to find meaningful work.

Her exposure to competencies such as Teamwork and focus on results has helped her to open up more and socialise with others. She is extremely proud that she has developed competencies in these skills because she now has to demonstrate those skills on a daily basis at her full time job. She is now working at O.D Brisbane and Sons.

Jelysa provided this bit of advice to other youth who may find themselves in similar situations. “Dont judge the program – figure it out for yourself by participating. I am a better person because I participated in this program. The sports component was the best part of A Ganar because it showed me a different way of learning. I now understand that books are not the only way persons can learn. More than that, the Facilitators took their time to break down the information to us.”

Jelysa noted that she rather enjoyed her interaction with the 4th form students who accompanied her to the job site on Thursdays. They were always very happy to attend the training sessions.

Her profound gratitude was expressed to the funding agency of the A Ganar program, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Partners of the Americas the program’s executing agency. She also wanted to thank Mrs Elzeva Cuffy, Ms Joy Osborne and Mrs June James for their unwavering support.

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