21-y-o advises youth to press on despite challenges
Gareth Davis, Gleaner Writer
PORT ANTONIO, Portland:TWENTY-ONE-YEAR-OLD ROBERTO Taylor is on a quest to secure a well-rounded education as he seeks to be an inspiration to youth who may have lost hope due to the lack of opportunities.
Taylor has often been referred to as a genius by many, especially when he was attending Titchfield High School in Portland between 2002 and 2008. At Titchfield High, he secured distinctions in English language, mathematics, chemistry, biology, human and social biology, English literature, and social studies at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate level.
He matriculated at Northern Caribbean University (NCU) in 2008 and graduated in June 2012 with a bachelor's degree in religion, along with a minor in guidance counselling and Greek.
"It shows that I have a love for the language of Greek. I am now doing my master's degree with an emphasis on New Testament and a minor in Old Testament with the understanding that sexual criticism is my way forward.
"It has been difficult. The experience at NCU was somewhat checkered. There were times when I was hungry, but because of friends who supported me, and with God's blessings, I survived."
TEMPTED TO QUIT
According to Taylor, although real-life challenges, including a shortage of money and food, bothered him in many ways, he decided not to quit. He admits that several times, he considered throwing in the towel.
The days spent at NCU are cherished by the youngster, who pointed out that his life has been transformed by the experience gained at that university. In addition, Taylor said support from his mother, Donna, along with other family members, kept him spiritually strong, even when the odds were against him.
Taylor added: "My success is as a result of my firm belief in God. There were days when the pressure was on, but I never gave up, and my mother's words - 'Just look to Jesus' - always registered in my heart," said Taylor.
"Poverty is not an excuse for crime or failure. You have to make that change and be different in your own way. Education is one way of alleviating poverty, and I appeal to all the youth not to lose hope, but rather, to trust in God, and pursue your dreams. Only you can make a difference."