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“No matter where you’re from your dreams are valid”

Lupita Nyong’o

Last year, Director of Camp G.L.O.W Grenada, Ayisha Sylvester-John invited me to speak to over 30 girls aged between 14 and 17. Camp G.L.O.W started in 1995 in Romania by Peace Corps Volunteers and is now a worldwide Peace Corps initiative with 21 camps taking place around the world. I was proud to learn that Grenada was the first Eastern Caribbean island to host Camp G.L.O.W in 2012. During the camp, the girls participate in workshops that help them to build their self-esteem, increase their self-awareness and understanding of womanhood and develop skills in goal setting and career planning. Every summer, girls from around the island attend and leave feeling empowered to be great leaders that can make a difference in their community.

I shared with them every single dream I had as a child and how I made it a reality. I watched as their faces illuminated with the belief that if someone who looked like them could fulfil their dreams, perhaps they could too. I wrote this blog during the height of the pandemic, inspired by the fact that these four young Grenadians, dreamt of embarking on careers that would put them in front line positions. Jobs that would be so essential in guiding humans through coping with a global health crisis mentally, socially and technologically. This blog is still relevant amid the pandemic against black lives, because the harsh reality is, based on their environment they may endure the most challenging, unexplainable obstacles to fulfil those dreams because of the colour of their skin.

I’m sharing the dreams of these four attendees of Camp G.L.O.W on Kiki’s Blog in the hope that it will encourage them to continue to pursue what they dream of becoming.

“I dream of becoming an inspiration for young girls. I’ve thought about becoming a Wellness Therapist a lot, as it would allow me to support someone through physical and psychological issues. The truth is, even if I don’t end up in that field, I will still be fulfilled if I can make a difference in the lives of young women around me”.
–        Shahibar Pearlyn Gooding, 17, Grenada W.I
“I dream of becoming a teacher because I want to help others to be better.  I love using computers so I want to teach IT”
–        Niquwana Afi Noel, 19, Grenada W.I
“I dream of becoming a professional who gives guidance on managing emotions. I’ve learnt to deal with my strong emotions, and I want to be in a position to help others do the same. I want to come in constant contact with different types of people whether I become a teacher, policewoman or work within the field of social services. I’m currently taking short courses at the University of the West Indies so I can get closer to my dreams, but I know for a fact that I will have to leave home. There are not many programs in Grenada that support the line of work I want to do. What keeps me going is the fact that I have multiple options. I’m also excited about travelling and seeing new places and discovering different climates and cultures. My heart is truly Grenadian, so wherever I may have to go, I will always return home”.
–        Roya Pascall, 18, Grenada W.I
“I dream of becoming a lot of things, but most of all, I want to give back to my homeland by studying Marine and Environmental Science and Technology and Geography. I love the beach, nature and hiking but in Grenada, we sometimes take it for granted because we don’t understand the consequences of our actions, both short and long term. I’m hoping to follow a specific path, but I know it’s easy to get caught up in things that will cause you to neglect your dreams. I’m focused and going for it!” 
–        Chanda K. Stafford, 21, Grenada W.I

Photography by Harry Varley @the_restless_life

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