Mon | Dec 11, 2023

The inspiring journey of Citerina Atkins

Published:Sunday | October 29, 2023 | 12:06 AM

In a world that often celebrates glitzy success stories, it’s all too easy to overlook the heroes quietly shaping our communities and uplifting their nations. Today, we proudly shine a spotlight on one such hero: Citerina Atkins from New Hope District, Mandeville, who was bestowed with the title of ‘Youth Food Hero’ in October 2021. Her remarkable journey embodies the essence of resilience, innovation, and selfless dedication, showing that even the humblest achievements can inspire greatness.

Citerina Atkins was honoured with the prestigious First CARICOM-CDB Young Farmer of the Year Award for her pivotal role in revolutionising the agricultural landscape. Her journey began in 2018 when she courageously left behind the corporate world to pursue her dream of agricultural excellence. Alongside her cousin, Roike Campbell, she embarked on a path less travelled, co-founding Gerty’s Agro, a venture committed to the cultivation of produce like Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, and Scotch bonnet peppers, both locally and for the export market.

But Atkins’ story is not just one of commercial success; it’s a testament to the power of community development, youth empowerment, and food security. Gerty’s Agro’s impact resonates far beyond the fields they cultivate. By providing employment opportunities to the youth, she’s sowing the seeds of economic prosperity and personal growth.

EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES THROUGH AGRICULTURE

Her partnership with organisations like the Jamaica 4-H clubs has further strengthened the foundation of her commitment to agricultural development. By fostering innovation, education, and a profound sense of belonging, Atkins has become a driving force for positive change in Jamaica.

We salute Atkins not only for her remarkable achievements but also for the inspiring message she carries with her journey. Her story tells us that thinking outside of the box and acting on your dreams, no matter how modest they may seem, can have a resounding impact on our community and our nation. She is a living embodiment of the idea that greatness lies within the hearts of those who dare to dream, who take a leap of faith, and who persistently work towards their vision.

In the spirit of Atkins’ remarkable journey, be encouraged to reach for your dreams, no matter how humble, and to recognise that each one of us has the potential to be a hero in our own right. Remember, the impact of our actions can extend far beyond what we can imagine, making the world a better place, one small step at a time.

Contributed by Dr Lorenzo Gordon, who is a diabetologist, internal medicine consultant, biochemist, and a history and heritage enthusiast. Send feedback to inspiring876@gmail.com.