25/01/2021 – Living in the Trench Town community in Kingston, Jamaica, 17-year-old Kheion is grasping her participation on the UP Unity & Peace programme as an opportunity to progress in life.
UP Unity & Peace is a Fight for Peace coordinated programme which brings together multiple organisations and bodies to support young people, and promote peace and inclusion across six communities in Kingston.
Kheion recently got eight passes in her school leaving exams and is now enrolled in university. Her goal?: to complete a double major in business and in civil engineering.
“I did what I had to do to get my exams done and then I went and got the scholarship. Whenever I felt demotivated or overwhelmed, I would remind myself of my dream to study abroad and be my own boss.”
“I wanted to prove that I could succeed, I knew that support was available to me and I could reach out to friends as well as members of the UP team. I didn’t want to disappoint them!”
In addition to school, Kheion is also emerging as a young leader in her community, participating in a number of projects to support other young people. And she is honing her leadership skills as part of the UP Unity & Peace Youth Council, influencing how the programme operates and the direction it takes.
She has also more recently started contributing to the day to day work of the programme, taking up an assistant role in the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) team. MEL is an essential component in the UP Unity & Peace programme, measuring and evaluating the work being delivered, and ensuring that it’s having the greatest impact on young people.
“Being a member of the youth council and working with the MEL Officer has improved my initiative, and helped with my time management and procrastination.
It’s helped me a lot in increasing my productivity and being a part of the team has definitely changed me as a person. I want young people in the community to take part in programmes and I want to help them be better.”
Through her determination, and taking advantage of the support and opportunities offered by the UP Unity & Peace programme, Kheion is blazing a trail directly towards her future goals.