Alecia Byfield - A decade of selflessness in and outside Palmer's Cross
As a constructive youngster and lover of life, community involvement is an ever-burning fire in the heart of Alecia Byfield.
The 22-year-old resident of Palmer's Cross in Clarendon is a member of the St John's African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, where she is the president of the Young People and Children's Division (YPD) and also the president of the 16th Episcopal District YPD of the AME Church.
She is also an ambassador with Youth Inspiring Positive Change Ja (aka Positive Organisation), a member of the Youth for Change Foundation, and a volunteer with Jamaica National Act!on Group (JNAG).
"Being a part of the St John's AME Church developed my love for community involvement and volunteerism. This began when I was 11 years old when I started doing outreach programmes with my youth group."
Through the AME Church and the YPD, Byfield, a student at the University of Technology, reading for a degree in business administration, with a major in accounting, has executed several projects in her community.
In her selfless decade of giving, she has also completed several projects outside of Palmer's Cross via the Positive Organisation and JNAG.
The accountant hopeful cites her very first personal outreach programme in 2009 at the Anderson Children's Home (now closed) on Manchester Avenue in Clarendon as her fondest act.
She told The Gleaner: "I, my mother, brother, and a few friends brought clothes, toys, and food for the home. The joy on the children's faces as they received the packages and knowing that I was able to help those who were in need gave me great comfort."
In addition to her church and stable family background, her motivation is intrinsic, and the joy it brings serves as adequate satisfaction.
Byfield's major in community involvement is centred on the academic and social development of youth. As such, her community vision is for a community centre where youth can develop social cohesion, build character, and maximise human potential through skills training.
In speaking to fellow youth about lending their time and efforts to worthy causes, Byfield told The Gleaner: "Get involved in a police youth club or any other service club and immerse yourself in a community area which you are passionate about, and never stop dreaming. I'm guided by the philosophy: when you put your heart in it, it can take you anywhere."
Projects undertaken by Byfield in and outside of Clarendon
- Coordinating an outreach programme for the Anderson Children's Home.
- Annual feeding of the homeless in May Pen
- An elderly love feast for members of the Hayles community.
- Providing clothing items via an outreach initiative to the Summerfield Boys' Home.
OUTSIDE OF CLARENDON
- Christmas treat at the Vineyard Town Golden Age Home with JN Act!on.
- Beach clean-up and social events volunteering with Positive Organisation.
- Through donations from several persons, coordinated an outreach project at the Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre, taking packages of food, clothing items, and toys for the children.