Fri | Nov 26, 2021

Mario Samms passionate about helping others

Published:Friday | March 8, 2019 | 12:00 AMVanessa James/Gleaner Writer
Mario Samms (right) poses with Sir Patrick Allen, governor general of Jamaica, after being awarded the Governor General’s Award for Community Involvement.
Justice of the peace Mario Samms takes the time out to smile for the camera.

“From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required.” Mario Samms lives by this biblical verse each day and assists others as much as he can, and his position as justice of the peace (JP) in St Thomas helps him to achieve this.

Samms, 29 years old, is one of the youngest to be commissioned to the post of JP.

“I was appointed as board member to the Wortley Girls’ Home, and a church sister saw the work I had been doing in my church and community and recommended me to be a justice of the peace,” Samms said.

He said he uses his position as a platform to encourage youths to contribute more effectively to the community and impact lives in a positive way.

“In this capacity, I get to see the needs of the people, “and as such, I am able to help them the best way I can,” he told The Gleaner.

Samms’ need to help and be there for others stems from his experiences growing up with his grandmother.

“My grandmother was a community woman and would also try her best to help others,” he stated. “I can remember while growing up, my grandmother would never allow someone who came to the house to leave without something in their hands,” he recalled.

Samms said that it is a result of those experiences, that the appointment as JP is fitting.

“As JP, I have helped a blind community member with acquiring a cane to get around,” he said. “I also collect food from Food For the Poor and distribute [it] to people in St Thomas who are in need.”


According to Samms, he has also assisted a parent who needed a house. In his capacity as JP, he wrote to Food For the Poor, and the parent now has a house for herself.

“Being a justice of the peace is more than just signing papers and stamping photographs; it is a way for me to advocate for the residents of the community,” Samms explained.

Samms’ need to help and his appointment as JP are further enhanced by the fact that he is a certified guidance counsellor and has used his capacity to help others who may be struggling in life and cannot see a way out.

He also tries to influence the youth of the community to help and get involved.

“Many young people have called me and asked, ‘how can I become a JP?’ and my first response is always, ‘How active are you in your community?’ because these things are needed, and the hard work will be recognised,” Samms stated.

He enjoys the fact that he can assist colleagues and fellow community members by writing recommendations for jobs and other ventures, and he is very happy when they are successful in their endeavours.

In April 2018, Samms received the Governor General’s Award for his involvement in the community. He is the guidance counsellor for his alma mater, Lyssons Primary School in St Thomas.

Samms is guided by the words of the apostle Paul: ’If I could help somebody along the way, then my living will not be in vain.’ He told The Gleaner, “I enjoy serving others, and being justice of the peace feels right.”