Thu | Feb 2, 2023

GoodHeart | Deloris Murray-Sterling paying it forward

Published:Saturday | December 10, 2022 | 12:29 AMKeisha Hill/Senior Gleaner Writer
Deloris Murray-Sterling has been actively contributing to the betterment of Jamaican citizens through private donations and in May 2022 officially registered her Greatness Education Foundation Limited to boost educational excellence and inspire youth.
Deloris Murray-Sterling has been actively contributing to the betterment of Jamaican citizens through private donations and in May 2022 officially registered her Greatness Education Foundation Limited to boost educational excellence and inspire youth.

Deloris Murray-Sterling is blessed to be the beneficiary of her mother’s selflessness to others. She grew up observing her mother, Marvia Murray, give her last to make others happy and was taught to share whatever she had, no matter how small.

Murray-Sterling is from humble beginnings. “I am from a small farming community in Westmoreland called Silver Spring, where motorbikes are used as the main mode of transportation. My dad left for the United States of America when I was five years old, and my mom struggled to maintain the household. My mom taught us the true meaning of gratitude,” she said.

Murray-Sterling attended the Manning’s School and Montego Bay Community College, where she majored in accounting. After community college, she attended the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech), where she pursued an undergraduate degree in business studies and computing and attained first-class honours.

A few years later, she pursued a master’s degree at The University of the West Indies in accounting and is currently the acting programme director and lecturer for the business administration programme at UTech.

“I remember as a student at UTech, I struggled financially when I started my studies. Some of the farmers from my community would come together and pack bags with ground provisions, fruits and vegetables for me to take back to Kingston. I applied for every grant and bursary at UTech and was awarded the lunch subsidy. It helped tremendously. I am also grateful for some schoolmates who ensured that I had something to eat. I always said I have to pay it forward,” Murray-Sterling said.

Over the past five years, Murray-Sterling has been actively contributing to the betterment of Jamaican citizens through private donations to children, the elderly and schools. In May 2022, she officially registered her Greatness Education Foundation Limited to boost educational excellence and inspire youth by providing essential resources through innovative partnerships, sponsorships, collaboration, and donations.

Before this accomplishment, in August 2020, she pledged to help parents from two communities in Jamaica. “I shared my plans with my friends, family and colleagues who donated to the back-to-school drive. I was able to provide packages to over 250 children attending kindergarten, prep/primary schools, and high schools in Westmoreland and Kingston. As part of the project, students who sat the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) Examination received book vouchers from Kingston Bookshop and Possessions Bookshop to assist with purchasing textbooks and other school supplies,” she said.

“The children were treated to fun, games, and food. The Jamaica Fire Brigade was also invited to talk to the residents about fire prevention measures. Over 150 packages were issued,” she added.

During the coronavirus pandemic, two schools in Westmoreland, the Ketto Early Childhood Institute and Sheffield Primary, were gifted with sanitisation packages to include sanitisers, Lysol and temperature guns, as well as school supplies.

“I appreciate the gratitude from the children and their parents when I help to lessen a financial burden. I know what it feels like to be wanting and what it means to do without. My community is marginalised, and I think that being an example to them will motivate children to strive for greatness,” she said.

Arising from the need to better equip students with the tools necessary for learning in the online environment, in 2021, Murray-Sterling also donated tablets that were received from her colleagues and was able to assist six children with devices for school.

“In 2022, I did two projects in the parishes of Kingston and Westmoreland. For the Kingston project, the UTech ancillary staff received school supplies for their children. For the Westmoreland project, I hosted a fun day for children from several communities. Included in the treats were a school bag, notebook, pen, pencil, ruler, geometry set, calculator, crayon/markers, colouring book, sharpener, eraser, glue, mask, and sanitiser,” Murray-Sterling said.

She said people do not forget the good you do for them. She encourages individuals and business interests to partner with and assist others in need, adding that there are students and parents who are already struggling and cannot access a good education, which has placed them at an even greater disadvantage.

“It was from doing good that I was able to help others. I have had children walk up to me and thanked me for something I did years ago. It is such a good feeling to see others being able to enjoy themselves or receive something that they didn’t see the means of getting. I know there are several service organisations that are giving back, but I would love to see many companies join partnerships to reach more people,” Murray-Sterling said.

keisha.hill@gleanerjm.com