By Nicole Stoddart | IG: @miss_stoddart
I chose to volunteer for the Shashamane Sunrise Foundation because I strongly believe in the organization’s efforts to increase the quality of education for children from low socioeconomic backgrounds. I’m passionate about touching hearts and changing lives; it was this passion that awoke me 4:00 a.m. to take a six hour drive to the Windsor Forest Primary School’s Graduation Ceremony in Portland, Jamaica.
Watching each of the students get awarded for academics, sports, and other extracurricular activities bought so much joy to my heart. And as I sat with parents in the church and watched them marvel at their children’s achievements. My heart swelled with pride. I was so happy and honoured to share in this momentous occasion.
At the ceremony, I had the privilege of awarding the male student with best results on the Grade Six Achievement Test GSAT on behalf of Dr. Jermaine Mcalpin. I also gave out the award for the top female GSAT student. When I handed her the trophy and saw her eyes light up with appreciation, I felt entirely fulfilled. This sense of fulfilment is the reason I have decided to donate five percent of my income to charitable organizations like Shashamane Sunrise.
After a long day of distributing awards and encouraging the children and their well-wishers, the Shash Team travelled to Boston beach. I wasn’t dressed appropriately, but I couldn’t resist the ocean. The water looked so enticing, and the waves were calling my name. I jumped in, business suit and all! (Yes, I’m a water baby.) Bonding with my Shashamane Sunrise family after an arduous day of travelling and volunteering was indeed a great feeling.
I applaud Shashamane for its impactful initiatives and for allowing individuals like me to contribute positively to the lives of our nation’s children. And I will continue performing these acts of kindness for, as Aristotle said, “Excellence is not a singular act; it’s a habit. You are what you repeatedly do.”
Nicole Stoddart is the CEO and Founder of Crown Consultancy and a Shashamane Sunrise Youth Ambassador.