Thu | May 25, 2017

Kevon turns trash into treasure

Published:Thursday | September 3, 2015 | 9:00 AMShanna Monteith

SEAFORTH, St Thomas:

Determined, dedicated, and driven is Kevon Strachan of Seaforth district in St Thomas.

The 22-year-old student of the University of the West Indies will graduate with a first-class honours degree in diagnostic imaging (radiography) this November.

Like many tales of success, Kevon's started with an unfortunate beginning.

"My parents were very young when I was born. My mother was 17 and my father 18. This put them under much ridicule. Someone even told my grandmother to have my mother do an abortion," he told Rural Xpress.

According to him: "Having me that early prevented mommy and daddy from furthering their education beyond high school despite their potential. My father immediately began seeking jobs and my mother remained at home to take care of me."

Kevon described his father as a hustler who would work odd jobs to ensure money was available to take care of his family's needs.

"At first, he worked on construction sites wherever he could find them. Then he got a job at Serge Island, and when I was six, he became a police officer."

Needs met

But despite his parents' job inconsistencies during his previous years, Kevon admits that all his needs were met, especially those which had to do with school.

His attentiveness and qualifications earned him a scholarship from the Ministry of National Security.

"I was going into university with a scholarship of $150,000. All I had to do was maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.5. I ended up getting it for all my three years," said the proud recipient.

Kevon revealed that the scholarship greatly assisted him, especially where accommodation was concerned.

In addition to maintaining the scholarship, Kevon made the university's dean's list and honour society in his first two years at the University of the West Indies.

"And I don't know if this counts, but I got an award on Rex Nettleford Hall of Residence for being among the top 15 residents with the highest GPA," added the scholar.

He told Rural Xpress that his "need to make it in the big leagues" is what motivates him.

"My inner competitive drive to be a leader and to achieve great things and also the urge to make my family proud are my motivations."

The 21-year-old shared that he hopes to secure a job in radiography after he is finished with his internship, open a restaurant in a few years, and to do his master's degree in the next five years.

Kevon holds dear the philosophy that 'one man's trash is another man's treasure'.

"People wanted my mother to throw me away. In their minds, I was trash, but I was always and still am a treasure to my family," he said.