If we were to all agree on a single stretch of time that everybody loves, that time would probably be the weekend. It’s conventionally upheld as the break from work and school which allows us to enjoy some extra sleep, relaxation and stress-free activities. There comes the undesirable circumstance, however, when, sometimes, people have to give up their weekend to work or engage in a different kind of stressful activity – e.g., chores! Although some of us just won’t sacrifice our precious weekends for anything, what if the circumstances are unusually pressing, like in the scenarios below?... read more

What a difference high school made

A young Kareem LaTouche(Left).Youthlink coordinator Kareem LaTouche(Right)

After leaving Jessie Ripoll Primary, where I was taught by my Aunt Lorna, who you could never tell was related to me by the way she caned me, high school seemed like this grand stage. The first time I walked on to Jamaica College’s grounds, I felt intimidated by its sheer size. Being at a school on more than 10 acres of land was nothing I had experienced in my 12 years of living.

At that time, the school was predominantly known for track and field and the student population had long shifted from soley upper class to a mixed cohort that reflected the rise of the lower- and middle... read more

My family disgusts me

Dear Counsellor,
My family disgusts me. Most times, I am embarrassed by their interactions, their lack of education, how they speak and how little we have. They are mostly uneducated, backward in their reasoning, and I find that I do not want anyone to know who they are. I believe that as soon as I am able to, I will want to change my name and never look back. I have worked through my guidance counsellor to achieve a scholarship that will take me through my final year of high school and after that, I am out! My mother keeps asking me about graduation, but I do not want any of them to... read more


Campion College fourth-formers (from left) Maijani Hall, Gavia Christie and Matthew Jenkinson are happy to help with the removal of garbage from the environment.

The battle against garbage polluting Jamaica’s beaches saw a brave effort by GraceKennedy Limited (GKL), one of several corporate entities which participated in the 2018 International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Day.

This year, the GraceKennedy team collected a total of 3,342.2lbs of garbage and 1,171lb of recyclable plastic (over 4,500lb of waste) from Buccaneer Beach and Gunboat Beach along the Kingston Harbour.

Leading the Herculean task on behalf of GK was the GraceKennedy Foundation, which had the support of 257 volunteers comprising board and staff members, their families,... read more

Starbucks YUTE work provides life-skills training

THE MULTICARE Youth Foundation (MYF), through its Starbucks YUTE Work Project, kicked off life skills training for a cohort of 35 young adults recruited from inner-city communities in Kingston and St Andrew. The project, which aims at improving the employability of at-risk youth, embarked on its week-long training at the Scout Association of Jamaica between September 3 and 11.

The one-year project is a collaborative effort of MYF, Starbucks International Foundation and HEART Trust/NTA. This component of the project focuses on providing young people with the requisite soft skills... read more

Teens & Sex

Dear Counsellor:
I am a 15-year-old female and my 16th birthday is in two weeks. My boyfriend is 19 years old. I notice [as of late] that he is very nice to me. I get more hugs, chocolate and flowers, and he has said many times that he cannot wait for my 16th birthday for us to start having intercourse.

I am not sure if he really loves me or it’s just the idea of sex with me. We have been together for just about a year. I really like him and would not want to lose him. Please help.

Dear D.A.:
Just to remind you, 16 is the legal age of sexual consent in Jamaica,... read more

Clay Shooting: A sport building leadership and character for youngsters

From left: Amir Azan, David Wong, Khaleel Azan and Anna Issa.

One could say it is slowly but notably becoming apparent that clay shooting has a place among our youngsters, not only for the athletic skills acquired through the sport, but also for its contribution to character development. The young leaders in clay shooting confirm the sport’s potential for considerable impact on a worthy generation. For this reason, Youthlink is dutifully putting the spotlight on the likes of Anna Issa, clay shooting vice-captain at Hillel Academy; Amir Azan, clay shooting captain at Campion College; and Danzell Knight, captain of the clay shooting team at the... read more

The best is yet to come

Tatayana Graham (left) receives the Burger King Lois Sherwood Scholarship from Lois Sherwood, chair, Restaurant Associates Limited, at the presentation of the 2018 Burger King Scholarships at the Terra Nova Hotel on August 20. Three point eight million dollars in scholarships, bursaries and book grants were presented to 24 students at the event.

The house where she lived with her mom and siblings burnt down in January 2016, and among her personal belongings, all her notes to support her studies for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations went up in flames. She called a shelter ‘home’ before her mother was able to secure the means for a small dwelling.

With CSEC four short months away, Tatayana Graham’s academic journey could have been seriously derailed, but not so for this former student of St Andrew High School for Girls, now entering the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, thanks to a J$... read more

Mom wants him chaperoned on dates

Dear Counsellor,

I am a 15-year-old male and my mother refuses to allow me to go on a date unaccompanied. I am an average student, I do OK. My mother constantly nags about my schoolwork and my don’t-care attitude. I know I spend a lot of time on my phone and I love gaming. How can I work this out? Yours,

Dear SH,

The situation you have presented is not unusual in mother and teen relationships. Your mother may have her reasons for her decisions, based on her experience or the experiences of others. I recognise, too, that your mother is not... read more

Why didn’t I get accepted to my Ivy League college of choice?

Dear Counsellor:
I am a 19-year-old male and I am concerned that my college applications have not been going as expected. I have 11 distinctions in CSEC and six distinctions in CAPE. I know that I am an excellent student, so why am I not being accepted to my first- or even second-choice Ivy League college? I am bordering on depression, as some of my friends have been accepted to colleges of their choice and I have not been. What is the problem? Is it that I am too qualified? Should I have omitted some of my accomplishments? I am actively involved in my community and my church. Is God... read more


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