Mon | May 20, 2019

Dionne Ramsay: Giving up is not an option

Published:Saturday | June 9, 2018 | 12:00 AMShanna Kaye Monteith/Gleaner Writer
Dionne Ramsay
Dionne Ramsay

What if we treated disappointments and failures as set-ups instead of setbacks, or as mountable hurdles instead of roadblocks? What if we were all like Dionne Ramsay?

"I grew up in a very humble household in Yallahs, St Thomas. Everything was OK until after sitting my CXCs and realising I had failed all six subjects. I felt like a big disappointment and my dad, who was the sole breadwinner at the time, was very disappointed," she said, explaining that her father travelled to Portland every day to sell clothes in the hot sun so he could provide for the family.

This event became a turning point in her life as she was now determined to restore hope in her father's life.

Ramsay told Family & Religion that after being turned down on many occasions, she finally landed a place at another high school from which she graduated a year later, unfortunately without a pass in English A.

"After leaving St Joseph's High and staying home for approximately eight months and couldn't get a job, I asked my eldest brother for money and ventured out into the community and in Kingston, walking from place to place, seeking employment. I got several turndowns because of my limited qualifications, which caused me to shed a few tears, but I was determined to get a job," she said.

And even after finally landing one, Ramsay explained that she could not keep it because the travelling expenses were too high.




Later earning a job as a pre-trained teacher which only paid her $3,000 monthly, with the help of her brothers and holding dear to her mantra, 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me', she sent herself back to school to do additional subjects.

Today, Dionne Ramsay is shouting a "Won't God Do It" as she serves in the posts of motivational speaker, language coach, and MC.

She uses her testimony as a beacon for young people who struggle in school, or those who believe that giving up is their only option.

"My family is to be thanked for where I am now and God, who gave me the strength to overcome my many failures. My aim now is to continue encouraging students to stay focused and to always be prepared for their examinations. Because of my downfalls back then I lost a few friends who were dear to me, who thought I wasn't in their league anymore," she recalled as she advised teenagers to choose their friends wisely.