"I try to be a source of positive motivation in my community. I seek to help others in any way possible, no matter how simple it may be."
These are the sentiments of 18-year-old upper sixth-form student Tanisea Campbell.
A resident of the Retirement community in Montego Bay, Campbell is the founder of the Retirement Youth for Change (RY4C) initiative, which aims at getting youth within Retirement to work in a unified way by undertaking community service and enhancing socialisation.
"I started RY4C when I was 17 years old, in October of 2015. I was inspired by many youth leaders who had a similar passion as mine. I took a good look at my community, and despite the negatives and stereotypes, there are many young people in my community who just need some motivation to go forward. So I decided, 'Why not be that person despite the challenges you might face?'"
In spreading the Christmas cheer, Campbell and her RY4C team, along with some actors from her school, Mt Alvernia High, visited Melody's Girls' Home in Montego Bay on Friday.
Through support from Montego Rotary and Mount Alvernia Interact clubs, they took 18 bags of groceries, clothing items, and gave out gifts, in addition to staging a small treat for the girls.
This collaborative effort, which resulted in jubilation among those less fortunate, made Campbell proud.
Faith In Her Network
Campbell, as most strong leaders do, has the utmost faith in the members of her network.
"My friends and team members also assist me. So in the case where I am not at school due to community efforts, my friends ensure that I receive what I missed," she told The Gleaner.
"As it relates to RY4C, when the demand becomes heavy, my team represents me at conferences and forums or anything requiring my attention."
Campbell's main aim for her young movement is to acquire a youth centre in Retirement to facilitate further growth, and, by extension, community development.
She is also trying to start a homework programme for GSAT and CSEC students as well as to partner with NGOs and government agencies to get youngsters further educated and increase employability.
Campbell also does work with government agencies such as the Citizen Security and Justice Programme to help youth to get active and involved in positive activities.
Neville Charlton, volunteer extraordinaire and Campbell's mentor, was not short on praises for the well-spoken young lady from the north.
"She's truly hard working. She knows how to reach a crowd, is very relatable, and it's a joy to listen to her speak," Charlton told The Gleaner.
In speaking to her future in the community movement and the subsequent feelings each deed brings, Campbell told The Gleaner: "It's a joy to do all of this. I would say to other young people, being selfless pays. Try to get yourself involved in some type of community service, even the simple act of being kind and inspiring someone. Even though it might be hard at the beginning and harder during, never give up when things get down, and always have persons who will be there for you and support you."
- Syranno Baines