Fighting poverty through education
Gareth Davis Sr, Gleaner Writer
Portland:Hardship and poverty best describe the early years of Kaylene Titus-Mitchell who grew up seeing her mother working tirelessly to support the family - a trend she is determined to change, especially with a newborn.
The 22-year-old Mitchell, who has been married for four years, is a firm believer that one's academic qualification can make a difference in helping to shape the lives of persons, while allowing them to choose from the varied economic and financial opportunities available, which can impact their lives positively.
"My one-year-old child is such an inspiration," said Mitchell. "I have known hunger and extreme hardships, something that I will never forget. My mother worked tirelessly just to support her three children, a feat that she somehow managed to achieve, but only through the help of God. I am now pulling out all the stops to ensure that I lay the foundation for my child, so as to ensure that she does not undergo the kind of hardships and challenges that I encountered," she added.
Mitchell, who graduated from Titchfield High School in 2009 with 21 subjects in Caribbean Examination Council and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination, is now a student at the University of the West Indies open campus, where she is majoring in management studies with a minor in economics.
Now in her final year at university, Mitchell has already identified the type of business that she will be undertaking - a funeral home, which has been a life-long dream of her husband. According to Mitchell, she is very supportive of her husband, who spent days carrying out research and conducting surveys about the business.
Continuing, Mitchell said, "It was kind of frightening at first, however, after it was explained to me repeatedly, my nerves have been calmed and I have since embraced the idea. I am excited about starting what will be our family business, although I am not yet sure where the location will be. I refused to be trapped by my past, and the only way that I know to get out of poverty is through education. I urge all youths my age or otherwise not to lose hope, as a proper education can transform your life."