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Ryon Gordon gets help! - Young man with heart condition realising his dream

Published:Thursday | September 29, 2016 | 12:11 AMShanique Samuels
Ryon Gordon struggles with a heart condition.
Sponsor Junior James (left) hands over a tablet to Ryon Gordon.

MAY PEN, Clarendon:

After reading Ryon Gordon's story published in The Gleaner last month, Junior James felt compelled to extend a hand to a fellow brother desirous of becoming one of Jamaica's most productive young men.

The article: Not Deterred: Young man with heart problem refuses to bow to challenges, published August 18, chronicled the story of how doctors almost gave up on Gordon when he stopped breathing for close to two hours when he was 11 months old.

Twenty-one years later, Gordon is alive and well, and has taken the first step toward becoming a certified professional chef.

"I met him after I read the story and after speaking with him, I realised he really wanted to do this," said James, who is the coordinator at Middlesex International College. He has offered to facilitate Gordon's schooling through the college, along with the provision of lunch and transportation allowance for the duration of the yearlong course in the commercial food preparation programme in which he is currently enrolled.




"I expect him to put out his best effort in all areas of commercial food prep which is the skills component as well as in math, English, data (IT) and entrepreneurship, and ensure that he is certified at the end of the programme, after which I will assist him with job placement or if he wants to move on to levels three and four," James told Rural Xpress.

He explained that the school-based at the Versailles Hotel in May Pen was founded on the basis of helping persons in surrounding communities by providing a platform for skills training so they can help themselves because after high school, many persons will not be able to move on to university or college.

James said he is concerned about Gordon's learning capacity to cope with the workload (considering his illness). "I was assured that if he really wants it, he will put out the extra effort to achieve it, it may be difficult, but not impossible and nothing beats hard work, and even if he doesn't finish at the top of his class, once he finishes that's good enough," he told Rural Xpress.

James added: "I also saw in The Gleaner where he said a tablet would help him to facilitate his learning and social interaction and so I decided to sponsor him a tablet too."

The coordinator said he was blessed with extraordinary parents who were able to fulfil his needs. "When I was younger, I really wanted to help my friends, but then I wasn't in a position to do so, but now I'm in a position to help especially young people and so I will and it makes me proud to assist."

"Everything I dreamed of is happening right now. I have been accepted into a programme to make that dream a reality," Gordon said, adding that he was very nervous on his first day.

Already, he has made friends who are helping him to settle.

"I feel good about being here and I think it's a great opportunity for me. When I finish, I am hoping to open a business so I can provide a service and help other people by providing employment. To the sponsors, I want to say thank you, because if it wasn't for them, I would be home complaining and getting depressed. I hope other young people sitting at home will see this as an example to get up and do something too."

"Ryon is in a situation where he could have given up, but he didn't, he put himself out there to receive assistance and I commend him for that. Able-bodied persons should stop begging and try to do something meaningful with their time and stop wasting their lives," James noted.