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Transforming Lives

Students perform at ceremony

Jamaica has always been vulnerable to extreme weather such as drought and hurricanes, but many people do not make a direct link with climate change. Over the past decade, Jamaica experienced nine natural disasters causing damages estimated at $1.4 billion.

Jerome presents at conference

Aug. 2014—Jerome Cowan made a decision to do better for himself—better than what was expected for someone growing up in his neighborhood, Parade Gardens, one of Jamaica’s most violent communities.

Community-based policing project

Paulette Simpson vividly remembers the days of terror. With a grimace, she recalls one of her darkest moments—when she was bombarded with the piercing sounds of gun shots, the shrieking of women and children, and the smell of blood filling the air in her small community of Gravel Heights, in Spanish Town, Jamaica.

Dewdney Scott, right, prepares for Literature Circle Discussion with other students in the Fast Track Program in Kingston

Dewdney Scott has always dreamed of teaching film and drama to deaf children. This is an ambitious goal, especially since Dewdney himself is deaf. In order to get into teachers’ college, he needed to pass Jamaica’s standard college entrance exams. Dewdney took the exams each year for ten years, but failed each time.

Sixth-grade student Hamesh Creighton earned the highest national score among his peers on Jamaica’s standardized test.

More than half of sixth grade students in Jamaica fail to achieve “near mastery” on language and math tests, and about 30 percent of them are functionally illiterate. The scores among inner-city schools are even worse, and they lack resources to bolster student performance.


Last updated: September 23, 2014

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