Nominated for the University of Westminster Social Impact Award 2019, Alicia Louise is a true woman of note that is making a real difference in the world.
I have had the honour of working alongside Alicia in a teaching capacity for a number of years now and instinctively knew, from the outset, that I was in the company of a young woman who was going to make a real difference in the world. Many people talk about change and what they would like to do if only their personal circumstances were different but few just get on and do it. Graduating with a law degree would normally be the start of a comfortable, settled life for most post graduates, however, driven by a sense of deep injustice and encouragement through her faith, Alicia chose the much tougher and less comfortable option of using her expertise and passion to make a real change to the lives of the young people in St Thomas, Jamaica. You can support Alicia by going to the University of Westminster website and registering your vote
I was born in Britain, but my father is from St. Thomas, Jamaica. While studying for my degree in Criminal Justice BA (hons) at the University of Westminster, I made 3 long trips to Jamaica every year after I noticed the needs and complexities of the children in St. Thomas. God has called me to use my gifts and experiences to help give these children a better start in life, and more opportunities for growth.
My heart for Jamaica came after my grandmother, Louise Barnes was brutally murdered in St. Catherine. My grandmother came from Port Morant in Morant Bay, parish of St, Thomas. Miss Lou was a loving grandmother, and wanted more than anything to build on her relationship with her grandchildren. I remember her contagious laugh, the way she spoke fast, her beautiful head of hair, and her amazing voice.
We cannot deny that Jamaica has a serious problem with the senseless killings, and we have come to the conclusion that living in extreme poverty or extreme wealth can make people heartless. We can change this if we try and alleviate some of the pressures of poverty on children. After all, nothing changes if nothing changes. As a Christian, I feel our understanding of ‘grace’ in St. Thomas, falls short when it comes to how we treat our children. Therefore, grace and love have become the foundation of everything we do.