GoodHeart | ‘I am a living testimony that miracles can happen’
Tracey-Ann Harriage named regional winner of Prince’s Trust Global Award
Tracey-Ann Harriage, a Jamaican entrepreneur and domestic violence advocate, has been named as the regional winner of the Prince’s Trust Global Award. The young advocate received her award on Tuesday during a reception with the Prince’s Trust International at the British High Commissioner’s residence in Jamaica.
Prince’s Trust International works with young people and local partners in Jamaica, and the award is given to inspirational young people who have used the knowledge they had learnt in the programme to contribute to the building of their country.
Harriage operates two social enterprises supporting women in domestic violence situations and at-risk youths. In 2017, she established i-SEEED, a community club that supports young people and helps them to reach their potential, whatever their circumstances and despite high neighbourhood rates of unemployment, crime and early parenthood. She founded her second organisation, Get Out Alive World, in 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic and related lockdowns saw a surge in domestic violence.
With firsthand experiences of both domestic violence and early parenthood at the age of 14, Harriage is driven by a strong personal commitment to both these causes.
“Don’t give up on persons, sometimes all they want is a second chance and once we provide that, I believe that miracles will happen. I am a living testimony that miracles can happen,” she said.
In 2022, Harriage participated in the Explore Enterprise programme, delivered in partnership with Prince’s Trust International and Jamaica Youth Business Trust. The programme empowers young entrepreneurs, whatever stage they are at, to build and grow their business. It has given Harriage the tips, tools and know-how to strengthen her finances and scale up her services. With sound finances, Harriage’s organisations can continue to serve the community for many years to come. After securing four new grants in 2022/23, the organisations have been able to expand to reach 3,000 more people, and she has taken on four new employees, all women previously affected by domestic violence.
“Before, I was clueless about how to get funding and be sustainable. However, this programme has been a phenomenal journey. I want to say thank you, but thank you is not even the word for what I feel,” Harriage said.
Prince’s Trust International has been working in Jamaica since 2019 with programmes focused on helping young people to re-engage with their education and find meaningful employment, and supporting them to explore entrepreneurship.
The award winners of the Prince’s Trust International programme are selected through the demonstration of key qualities including showing that their time on the programme has been life-changing, that the support of Prince’s Trust International has helped the nominee to unlock their potential, and that the nominee is a shining example, inspiring others.
Award submissions are recommended by delivery partners in each region and the regional winner is selected from these submissions. The award helps to raise the profile of the winner and their inspirational work in the local community. It also helps to raise awareness of the programme, encouraging support for more young people like Harriage.
Speaking at the reception, Judith Slater, British high commissioner to Jamaica, said it was a fantastic journey working with stakeholders from the United Kingdom and Jamaica with the common goal of helping young people to succeed.
“Hearing from young women like Tracey-Ann today has been a real highlight, her achievements are an inspiration to us all. I look forward to seeing many more young people supported through Prince’s Trust International’s work with partners in Jamaica,” Slater said.
Prince’s Trust International was founded by King Charles III, the former Prince of Wales, to tackle the global crisis of youth unemployment. In the Caribbean, the organisation delivers programmes with local partners in Jamaica, Barbados, St Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago. Their programmes and interventions are now present in 18 countries across the Commonwealth and beyond, across Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Europe. They have supported more than 70,000 young people worldwide since 2015.
Will Straw, chief executive of Prince’s Trust International, said he was elated that Harriage was making such an invaluable contribution to her community. “I am thrilled for Tracey-Ann, a young woman who is having a hugely positive impact on her community. It is more important than ever that we are united in support for those like Tracey-Ann as they build their own futures,” Straw said.
“Our partnership model brings in local expertise to ensure that young people in Jamaica can access the tailored support they need. Looking ahead, we are strengthening our programmatic delivery to support many more young people across the country into meaningful and sustainable work,” he added.