Simone Thomas, a second-form student at Glenmuir High School, has her sights set high on achieving her ultimate goal of becoming a lawyer. Through her struggles, she refuses to give up. She said she has learnt a lot about life and it has made her stronger.
During her years at the Beulah All-Age School, Thomas recalled having to sell bananas while in grades five and six just so she could provide lunch money and bus fare for herself and her younger sister.
"My daddy was not working at the time, so he came up with the idea of making me sell bananas at school," she said. "I had to ask permission to sell only to the teachers. I got a lot of support from these teachers, and they always hoped for the best for me."
Thomas was successful in her GSAT examinations and went on to Glenmuir High School where, had it not been for the James and Friends Foundation, the struggles would have continued. She is a recipient of one of the foundation's scholarships.
"I was worried about the expenses that my parents were going to have sending me to high school, but I didn't worry that much because I was sure God would come through for me again," she recalled.
Thomas is currently the junior secretary of the foundation. She said being enrolled in the programme has helped her tremendously as she is now able to attend school without having to worry about lunch money and other basic needs. She said being part of such a foundation has helped her to build her self-confidence, be more outspoken, and increase her self-esteem.
She thanks the foundation wholeheartedly for having seen her potential and for pushing her one step closer towards her ultimate goal.
Thomas advises others like her who may have found themselves in similar situations: "Never let your surroundings discourage you. Put God first and know that He will come through for you. If you want something in life to work for you, work towards it."
- Shanique Samuels