Beverly Hunter’s JOY

THERE is never a moment that she is without a smile or not trying to impact the lives of youth in the area of education.

As a result, young people are drawn to her and never cease to express their gratitude for the impact she has left on their lives.

Beverly Hunter, 58, was born in Kingston and raised in May Pen, Clarendon, where she spent much of her childhood thinking about how she could improve the life of at least one individual.

“As a child growing up in the earlier years, when I was probably six or seven years old, my grandparents would say ‘This is for you, when I die everything here is for you’. I would reply, ‘When I die everything here is for the children,’ not knowing which children I was talking about. Now, when I look at it, everything is for the children. It gives me joy. So I am always interacting with young people. It gives me a certain amount of energy. I can share, I can laugh and provide support at the same time,” she said.

After leaving Glenmuir High School and Clarendon College, Hunter enrolled at Church Teachers’ College in Mandeville, where she studied to become a Spanish teacher. Shortly after, she took her first job at Knox College, which lasted for seven years, before moving on to Vere Technical for six years.

During that period, Hunter got involved with the AFS Intercultural Programme where she worked as hosting officer for international students before travelling to Costa Rica to teach English.

“This was voluntary work and I was exposed to numerous cultures. But everything has some form of education in it; the bottom line was education and how much I could impact that,” she said.

But for a few years that passion was slanted as Hunter did a stint at the Bureau of Standards. However, in 2001 an opportunity came for her to work at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Student Records. Shortly after she moved to Admissions, before working as an outreach officer to her current post as administrative officer in the Office of the Board for Undergraduate Studies at the UWI Regional Headquarters.

Hunter credits her passion for wanting to see changes in the life of young people and children.

“I love reaching out to people, listening, trying to understand. I cannot provide the solutions, but however I can help, I will. Somewhere about 2010 or 2011 when I came over to the board of undergraduate studies, at the time not many scholarships were coming to Jamaica. I’d say to Ann-Marie Grant, the executive director of the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies, ‘We need to increase our numbers, can we get some more scholarships?’ Eventually we moved up to around 24, then one year we gave 54. Students were overwhelmed because their situation is not one that allows them to attend the university comfortably, and many times some students were left out. But my attitude was, how can we reach out to the donors and help these children? I eventually came up with a way to have the students say thank you to the donors and keep in touch with the university. Educating our youngsters helps them to grow and appreciate life, helps them to find themselves and to be able to make good decisions. It helps them to build their country because they are [the future]. We will move on, retire and pass on. Education must be such that younger people will continue.”

For Hunter, if there is something you can do to help yourself or someone else to have a better life, you should do it. Read more

Source: All Woman (Jamaica)