Sun | Dec 9, 2018

Paulette Trowers: Playful Learning

Published:Monday | March 7, 2016 | 12:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence
She might appear unassuming but Dr Paulette Trowers is a Doctor of Law and CEO of CHEETAH Toys and More LLC.
Dr Paulette Trowers showing off her pleasant smile.
Dr Paulette Trowers showing how interactive her tablets.

The idea of dying without fulfilling her purpose was something that was too much for Paulette Trowers to bear. With that as her inspiration, she went after her dreams like a tigress and ensured that she achieved her goals.

There were two things that Trowers knew that she always wanted to accomplish: become an author of some kind and a lawyer. As a child, she was extremely shy as she stuttered when she spoke. As a result, she spent a lot of time reading, said the Portland-raised woman.

She was getting good grades while she attended Titchfield High School and was preparing for her CXCs when she found out that she was pregnant. This was a stumbling block that she was not prepared for. Now, she looks at her son, Derrick Sampson Jr, as a great blessing, but becoming a teenage mother set her back from going after her dreams. For a while, she forgot about them altogether, but she knew that she wanted a better life, not only for herself, but for her child, and she decided to migrate to the United States of America. The transition was not easy, initially.

Moving into the cold of Connecticut was something that caught Trowers a bit off guard, but she had to work. She had forgotten her dreams until she got into an accident that claimed someone's life.

"That really had me thinking about life. What if I died and I did not do all I wanted to? I did not want to die like that," Trowers told Flair.

CHEETAH concept

With no prior experience in the sector, she knew that she wanted to teach children something. So she started to develop the concept for CHEETAH (Connect to Higher Education Electronic Tools Application and Help) Toys and More. She wanted them to learn the value of education the same way she had. Education was vital to Trowers, and this led her to create a line of books. She wanted to encourage playful learning so that children would gravitate towards it.

Trowers currently has a few books on the market - sing-a-longs for first-graders, life lessons on how to make friends, and dealing with daily challenges. There is a spiritual book as well for older children - C8 - promoting courage, compass, connection, creativity (the one she is most proud of), comprehension, comfort, character, and confidence.

So with her writing dream coming to fruition, Trowers was still going after dream number two by attending Florida Coastal School of Law. She passed the Bar on her first try. However, Trowers does not only credit her hard work for her success in these endeavours - she thanks God.

"My sister (Cecile Goodall) told me that I got that degree for myself and not anyone else because by then, I did not need it so much," she said, while adding that it has aided her business. She did not need to employ a lawyer to handle most of her legal matters.

Trowers went on to develop a talking CHEETAH toy and tablet software - developed in Jamaica with an application culturally modified for the Grade Six Achievement Test - to help children learn. Though not fully launched, they are used in a few schools - Port Royal and the Ken Wright Primary schools - with students believed to be performing below their potential.

Why Jamaica?

Trowers always wanted to give back to the system that contributed to the woman that she is today. Trowers believes that her primary and secondary education paved the way for her. So why not Jamaica? She knew that she wanted to return someday but not before her children were self-sufficient.

Sampson is now 30 years old, and her son, Jarvis, from her marriage, is now getting ready to attend college. Her stepsons, Brian and Brendan, whom she describes as her own, have also grown up, therefore, she has the time to travel back and forth more freely.

Trowers ensured that she made herself rounded and tries to pass on all she has learnt to whomever she comes in contact with. She also encourages youth to value education and love themselves. "Be proud of who you are. Know that you are beautifully and wonderfully made by God. Have a mentor or someone in your corner to help you," were her words of advice to youth.