Sun | Feb 17, 2019

Corporal Christopher James looks beyond the uniform

Published:Thursday | January 24, 2019 | 12:29 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston
From left: Corporal Christopher James, Denise Watson (mother of Jane Maragh) and Jane Maragh.

May Pen, Clarendon:

Corporal Christopher James has been serving the Clarendon community for 16 years, and for him, there is more to serving the country than just being in a uniform.

James says that he has a passion for helping others to make a difference in their lives, saying that that was the reason he reached out to Denbigh High School student Jane Maragh, who hails from Effortville in Clarendon, through his May Pen based-company Chiks and Korn.

Faced with many challenges, such as the lack of necessary resources to attend school, Maragh is forever grateful to James for intervening in her life by becoming her sponsor. He pays her school fees and makes sure that she has all the necessary supplies for school. James also assists with her daily school expenses.

Commenting on his motivation to help, James toldThe Gleaner that he wanted to show “a lighter side to the police, which will allow citizens to understand that the police are there to serve, reassure, and protect them in different ways”.

Recognising that there are other officers also going beyond their job descriptions to impact the lives of those in the communities they serve, James says that it is very important to nurture young minds and aid in the process of educating them.

He added that giving is also his way of “paying it forward” for the investment that was made in him by others while he was growing up as he had challenges in his formative years.

“It is always important to give, especially when you grow up without and know the importance of someone giving you something to survive. For a child to grow up without certain basic needs and have high grades, she deserves a chance to excel,” he said of Maragh, the high-achieving student in whom he has invested.

MOTIVATED TO EXCEL

For her part, a grateful Maragh can’t give enough thanks to James. Living with her mother and brother, and having an ailing father, she said it was the motivation to excel that saw her shining at the May Pen Primary School, where she was top girl in grade two. After sitting the Grade Six Achievement Test and passing for Edwin Allen High School, financial challenges forced her to seek a transfer to a school closer to home. However, the best news for her was that she would be going through the sponsorship of James, a financial burden her mother was more than happy to have taken off her hands.

James, in expressing his joy at helping in this fashion, also used the opportunity to encourage others to lend a hand where they can.

“You don’t have to be rich because the rich also bear a lot of burdens,” he said.

rural@gleanerjm.com