I grew up in a rural parish in Jamaica, called Effort. However, I lived in Kingston with my mother and went to school there. I was fortunate to live a life of complete freedom, having access to safe environments and a safe home. I have grown to love and appreciate my life in both my home and school environment especially because I am constantly aware that there are young people my age who grow up in environments, like Rema, Waterhouse, or Tivoli Gardens in Western Kingston who live in constant fear of some criminal act being committed against them or their family. I am also aware that this condition is not unique to Jamaica but this is a global problem whether in Soweto South Africa or Detroit Chicago, criminal activity threaten the ambitions and lives of many young men and women today. I cannot therefore take my existence for granted and has committed myself to look for better solutions for this problem in my home country, Jamaica. Jamaica’s crime statistics were the worst the country’s history with over 16, 000 murders across the island. This increase in crime has caused affected all sectors of the island, from tourism, to education, family life to health care. In addition, this is not a record that I am proud of and I believe that it is imperative that I imagine myself as an important voice and volunteer for helping to change the present path this land of wood and water and beautiful beaches is on.
I attend one of the most prestigious girl’s schools in Kingston and it is located very close to a poverty stricken neighborhood. On a daily basis our school population is reminded that we should walk in groups when we are on the way to the bus stop and we should not wear jewelry or expensive personal items to school. This is because of the “threat” that members of this community pose not only in the imagination of most in the school community, but also our parents as well. Needless to say, there have been occasions when students and teachers have been...
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