Wendy Forbes pursues a dream
Gareth Davis Sr, Gleaner Writer
Portland:No one could have convinced 34-year-old Wendy Forbes that she would actually end up in the classroom, as her tolerance level was low and she had also developed a passion for nursing. But as fate would have it, a career in primary education was just lurking.
Forbes, who hails from arguably the most depressed community in the Rio Grande Valley of Portland, Belle View, which is a farming community, struggled through high school, as her parents simply could not afford to pay for exams due to a lack of money.
"It was really tough back then," commented Forbes.
She added, "I left high school (Titchfield) in 1993 with no subject passes. My parents could not afford the exam fee and, therefore, after leaving high school, I worked as a nanny, taking care of four children. I did that for four years and then I enrolled at Stony Hill HEART academy in 1997 and graduated in 1999 as a clerical receptionist. I sat around for three years following the birth of my first child and in 2002, I landed my first real job as a sales representative/secretary at Satcum Cable Station in Port Antonio."
Forbes, who was hell-bent on becoming a nurse, started attending evening classes (extension school at Titchfield), where she acquired six subjects in the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) and General Certificate of Education (GCE) Ordinary Levels (GCE) examinations.
She would then apply to a nursing school in Kingston in 2003 and was awaiting a reply to begin her career of passion. However, after being told by a friend that she had to dissect a frog, which was her phobia, and her weakness at the sight of blood, Forbes engaged in prayer.
A second application was sent, but this time to the College of Agriculture Science and Education (CASE) at Passley Gardens in Portland, and shortly after, she was accepted. Forbes graduated from CASE in 2006 with a credit diploma in primary education.
Forbes' experience in the teaching world started at Port Antonio Primary, where she volunteered her service, but would later begin a paying job at Mount Pleasant All Age that same year (2006).
Since then, Forbes has gone on to achieve even more and today she proudly holds a bachelor's degree in primary education, which was acquired in 2011. Now a specialist mathematics teacher, Forbes is urging other persons not to give up, but to follow their dreams.
"I never gave up and today I am extremely proud of my achievements. I am a God-fearing person and each step of the way, I prayed for strength and guidance. I am urging people out there, who might be contemplating giving up, to hold on to your dreams and work towards them. There were days when I thought about quitting, but my first child was such an inspiration and I decided to see it through," she said.