Tina Renier - Hanover youth passionate about nation building
Community spirit and equality are such long-established principles of Tina Renier's that the 21-year-old youth advocate can easily interchange 'principles' with 'genetic make-up'.
A resident of Barbary Hill in Hanover, Renier is a member of the National Youth Parliament 2016-17, a member of the Talk Up Youth team, a Respect Jamaica youth ambassador for 2015-16, as well as a member of the Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network.
"My life's journey is very service-oriented because I sincerely care about the welfare and well-being of others," she told The Gleaner.
"I have held several positions of leadership from as early as 10 years old, when I became the youngest female deputy junior mayor for Hanover, in which I had actively advocated for the parish to be used as a hub for local economic development, which would capitalise on the special talents of its people, especially youth."
A full-time student of the University of the West Indies, Mona, reading for a degree in international relations, Renier has completed several projects locally and abroad, and in so doing, always amplifying the voices of the marginalised.
"The deeds that resonate with me the most are whenever I go into rural and marginalised communities to empower and mentor youths. Hearing them express to myself or others how inspired they are to overcome their personal obstacles, to make a difference in Jamaica, is gratifying,"' she said.
"Simultaneously, they develop into nation builders and positively impact other lives."
With effective time management and planning, Renier has managed to balance her demanding portfolios in academics and community involvement, never sacrificing one at the expense of the other.
She credits her grandparents for their unwavering support, while citing other relatives and close friends as motivational.
"They (grandparents) have paved the way by always integrating me into helping others in the community. I was taught to give the CEO of a company and a street cleaner the same level of respect."
Renier's aim is to create communities in which persons, especially youngsters, are motivated to achieve beyond expectation.
In speaking to the youth in particular about the gratification of selfless giving and its contribution to nation building, Renier told The Gleaner: "I have developed a feeling of overwhelming pride and joy in serving others, not just in grand ways but small ways that may be deemed insignificant. Community involvement is about the respect for self while being a vital member of society. Get involved! Be inspired! Discover your passion! Discover yourself and be a part of the struggle to make Jamaica the country that we envision it to be."
Renier's projects in Hanover include:
- Back-to-school initiative for rural and marginalised youth and children through partnership with Social Development Commission (SDC).
- Established a peculiar youth club in 2012 with the assistance of then Youth Empowerment Officer Donmarie Latouche.
- As regional secretary/PRO, she represented Hanover at the first consultation on the Revised National Youth Policy by providing recommendations on quality and relevant education.
Projects outside Hanover include:
- Working alongside UNESCO, Jamaica to train UNESCO-based organisations and personnel in transformational education and the importance of being a champion for global citizenship.
- Volunteer in school capacity-building sessions for other youth leaders and advocates, for example, at Yallahs High School.
- Volunteers with Talk Up Youth to inspire young people to be active change makers and also speak on topical issues affecting young people while engaging them in discussions.