Read to Lead - St Thomas festival queen to embark on literacy project
With an ardent desire to be a driving force towards sustainable development within her parish and emancipating its citizens from mental slavery that is believed to have led to its downtrodden state, reigning festival queen for St Thomas, Drulissa Grant, acknowledged that education is a key factor in accomplishing her goal.
Therefore, she will be spending most of her time as queen to improve the literacy rate in St Thomas through her project called Read to Lead, where illiterate individuals and others with reading challenges will have the opportunity to get help, with the aim of advancing their educational level and eventually helping them to secure a good career.
“This will also be an effort used to position our youths here to take advantage of the training and employment opportunities that will come to our parish with the implementation of the urban centre.
“I will be working with NexxStepp Lifelong Educational Services spearheaded by Tishauna Mullings, prolific social entrepreneur with a pool of skilled volunteers and literacy specialists from visiting schools, community centres and households to work with individuals who have reading challenges,” Grant said, adding that this will position individuals within her parish to lead positively and effectively while contributing to its growth and development.
The 21-year-old aspiring policy analyst told The Gleaner that through an integrated approach, she intends to increase the awareness of the importance of maintaining natural resources such as trees and water.
This, according to her, will be executed within the basic and primary institutions across St Thomas.
She shared, “Students will be participating in tree planting, beach clean-ups and even backyard farming activities. It is my desire to see a land space at every school dedicated to producing quality vegetables and ground provisions, thus providing healthier meals for our upcoming generation. I believe it is the key responsibilities of all leaders across our island to instil the ‘eat what you grow and grow what you eat’ mentality within our society, thus increasing pride and economic growth of our Jamaican society.
“Finally, I hold firmly to the belief that whatever the mind can conceive you can achieve, and so the mindset of my young people is where my main focus will be. I work daily and lead life-transforming projects within a brand that is geared towards personal development, which is a dire need among a vast majority of our St Thomas natives. The desire is mine to help individuals realise and maximise their true and full potential through mentorship. I have already been hosting numerous meetings with my mentees across the parish and I have seen drastic improvements.”
Grant, who considers herself a woman of God, noted that she is determined to continue being the change she hopes to see and to influence especially young ladies to do the same by maintaining high moral values, speaking up positively and stepping out boldly to advocate for what she described as “the long-downtrodden parish.”