Kerone Miller : Most influential youth leader in Clarendon
MAY PEN, Clarendon:
Kerone Miller, in her early 20s, walked away with the award of Most Influential Youth Leader at the Social Development Commission's Community Incentive & Grants Programme Awards.
Held at the Versalles Hotel in the parish, Miller, who said she was humbled by the honour, shared with Rural Xpress her voluntarism efforts that went a long way in earning her the award.
The Central High School past student is the founder of Advocate for the Elderly, a movement which bats for the seniors and offers assistance in any way they can.
Miller said the catalyst for her focusing her attention on the elderly was actually inspired by her grandmother, who died on her sixth birthday.
"She was a friend to everyone. Whenever she cooked, she invited almost everyone in the community of Bucks Avenue, she was so loving and caring," she said.
Raising money to fund her passion was a challenge, but Miller faced it through selling ice cream on the Central High compound. She got her first 'start-up' box donated by another youth leader, Dei Rasi Freckleton.
After leaving high school and with vending a no-no on the school compound, it was a grateful Miller who got endorsements from Donaree Muirhead and Lance Robinson, who both heard about her charity and decided to come on board.
"So now, my two main sponsors are Robinson from SDC and Muirhead from USAID Comet II," she informed.
In May of this year, she assisted five seniors from May Pen and its environs with food and household items.
Last Saturday, Miller was busy in the community of Juno Crescent feeding the elderly and giving them household items.
Miller also opened up about a senior citizen she has been assisting since 2011.
"Her name is Icolin Fisher, she has no family, she lives alone," she said, adding that her uncle who lives in the United States makes it all possible by sending money monthly in order for her to care for the senior.
"My uncle (Earl Egbert) saw what I'm doing as a worthy cause so he try his best to send me money every month end to help her."
Last September, members from her club May Pen Police Youth Club assisted in the effort by painting her house and giving the place a facelift.
When she is not occupied taking care of the elderly, Miller visits high schools and engage in empowerment sessions talking to other youth.
Although her involvement in voluntarism was not about drawing attention to herself, Miller has been chalking up some recognition for her efforts. She was awarded 'Heroine' by the May Pen Police Youth Club, which she said is another motivation in itself to continue in building a better Jamaica.