Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Donnisha Gordon's passion for volunteerism

Published:Thursday | March 23, 2017 | 3:00 AMShanique Samuels
Donnisha Gordon, volunteer extraordinaire.

MAY PEN, Clarendon:

Faith has always kept Donnisha Gordon going and it was her fiery passion for helping others which ultimately sparked her interest in volunteerism.

"During my latter high school years, I was constantly annoyed seeing the increasing number of unoccupied young people loitering in the streets. Though I was always passionate about serving that was when I realised I needed to direct my efforts to a place where I could get all these young persons involved in meaningful activities," she told Rural Xpress, adding that she was always an active member in the youth department at church.

"It was around the same time I met youth activist, Dei Rasi Freckleton, whose passion and dedication provided for me a great deal of inspiration. I realised I could make a great difference in many lives if I kept getting involved, so I took up the charge of serving as president of the Palmetto Pen Police Youth Club in 2010," she explained.

Gordon has been a member of Youth for Change (now Young People Advocating Change -YPAC) since August 2016 and since then, she has assisted in the planning and execution of several outreach projects and events. The 23-year-old further explained that the organisation is a good avenue for volunteering and so she took the time to offer free one-on-one tutoring in CSEC mathematics to members of this youth group which has since been extended to community members in Palmetto Pen, Clarendon.

"I'm from a home where my parents were brainwashed to believe that children didn't need to attend school on Fridays or have the required textbooks. They struggled financially to provide the necessary school supplies for my four younger siblings and I, as my father was the sole breadwinner in the family, selling in the streets of Spanish Town and May Pen. I lived in a 'one-room' structure, which served as home to a family of seven, until I was 13 years old," she revealed, adding that she grew up in a community where she had to be prepared to pass crime scenes by detouring through neighbouring houses to get to school. However, she didn't allow her struggles to deter her from being successful, always believing that if she could, anyone can.

 

UNWAVERING SUPPORT

 

Gordon sometimes ignores her problems and let God work through her and credits the unwavering support of her family for the many successes she's attained which according to her, far outweighs the challenges she has faced. "During high school, my study time was limited, but I still managed to become the 'Top CSEC Student' at Clarendon College in 2011. I didn't always have good teachers, but thanks be to God, I was moulded to be one. I am also a past recipient of the Top CSEC Scholar Award for the PATH National Awards," she shared with much delight. Although her college years were tumultuous, she was recognised as the Most Outstanding Female (among other awards) of Batch 176 at The Mico University College and most recently Gordon was awarded 'Rookie Teacher of the Year 2015-2016' at Jonathan Grant High School.

rural@gleanerjm.com