Monique Novelette Thomas : Ready to be an agent of change
Twenty-four-year attorney-at-law Monique Novelette Thomas' life is already all about service.
A 2016 graduate of Norman Manley Law School, her ultimate goal is to be a politician and to make her firm (one which she is a co-founder), Francis Thomas Campbell & Whonder Attorneys-at- Law -be successful for many years to come, where she can provide true representation to those who seek it through the law.
Thomas said it had always been a dream of hers to be her own boss as well as create employment for others.
She said her desire to be involved in politics so she can be in a position of policy and decision-making, "where I can give true representation of my people so that I have a better Jamaica not just for myself and my family, but for all," she told Rural Xpress.
Thomas, who hails from Rock River in St Mary, shared that her life has always been about service volunteering her time and efforts to make life better for others.
She has volunteered at several organisations such as the Port Maria Police Station Traffic Division, University of Technology Summer Teach, a youth programme. Presently, she is with the Jamaica Union of Tertiary Students, where she is the first vice-president for research, advocacy and policy development, and a Christian organisation known as Adventist Fellowship (Adfel)"; said Thomas.
She said she was first hooked on serving when she signed up with the National Youth Information Centre during her high-school years.
"I was volunteering so as to have an excuse to go home late and be on the computers after school and hang out with friends. However, gradually volunteering began to have meaning and from there I tried to give back at each chance I got," she reminisced.
Thomas said she stuck to it because it became personal for her. "It is not just because it's the right thing to do or the Christian thing to do. It is because giving back to people in your community gives a sense of self-fulfilment that as a person you are doing something good."
Thomas said when she visits persons in the hospital or persons with disability, the smile they leave with her, or the warm embrace to show their appreciation for the visit, is truly a wonderful feeling.
With a desire to stay true to God, she said sometimes it's a struggle, as she is not perfect.
"Being a Christian is like being a patient in a hospital, there are times when you feel good and can move around, and then there are other times when you feel droopy and in need of a doctor to give you some medication. So it is with being a Christian. There are times I fall out of grace and the Lord, being my healer, has to build that healing process so I can be spiritually healthy," she said.
Saved for more than six years, she has seen God coming through for her time after time.
"There have been countless challenges, but God is always there when you call upon His name," said Thomas, who admits to having three main passions - her faith as a Seventh-day Adventist; the law and politics for dealing with the injustices of the world; and making a difference and young people.
"I believe as youth we can be innovative and change Jamaica. We are the future of our nation and we are the greatest influencers of the younger generation. We as young people need to be more innovative, less dependent, visionaries and action-oriented."