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Impacting Education By Addressing Community Violence

New York, New York, September 9, 2006 – “Education must enable us never to succumb to the notion that excellence, virtue and success are beyond us or determined by others or things foreign” stated the Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller. It is with this belief that generations of Jamaicans have based their drive for success, and it is now of utmost importance that as a people we continue to strive for success. Many children in Jamaica are facing the barrier of getting a good education because of the levels of violence they face in their community everyday. Jamaica Impact a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that Jamaica’s children attain their promise, potential and progress in education, has for the past eight years funded four basic schools in Kingston’s most poverty stricken areas. The organization’s goal is to create model schools in those communities, by providing educational materials and training opportunities for the teachers at those schools. However, in the past year the greatest barrier to these children receiving an education has been the increasing daily violence in their community. Out of fear for their children’s lives parents have kept their children at home. It is with vitally important that in addition to addressing the education of the next generation, the Prime Minister must equally address the security issues of the communities that are suffering with heightened levels of violence.

On Tuesday August 8th, 2006 Jamaica Impact (JAMPACT) received acknowledgement from New York’s City Council for all of its’ hard work in the community. Council member Yvette Clarke at New York City Hall gave JAMPACT a New York City Proclamation in honor of their philanthropic achievements. The proclamation is both an honor and achievement for the eight-year-old organization. However more importantly it is a stimulus for the organization to increase its’ dedication and work in the community.

This year Jampact’s new president, Carl Heron who was nominated on August 16th, 2006 by the Jamaica Impact (JAMPACT) membership for a one-year term, has the challenge of working with both the schools and the Jamaican Government to address the issue of barriers to education. Mr. Heron has been a dedicated JAMPACT member for the past four years and has served on JAMPACT’s board as Treasurer for the past two years and co-chair of fundraising for one year. Mr. Heron is also currently a financial consultant at PNC Bank in North Bergen, New Jersey. The Jampact’s executive team for 2006 also includes Dr. Kesha Crichlow, Vice-President; Ron Robinson, Treasurer and Akelia Lawrence, Secretary. “This year is call to action and our recent New York City Council Proclamation for outstanding community service is a mandate for JAMPACT and its’ members to aim to do more for Jamaica and the Diaspora.” stated Mr. Heron.

The organization hopes to increase the positive impact it has on the lives of Jamaicans at home and aboard. This year’s activities include a ‘Rewind Fete” on September 14th, 2006 at Mixx Lounge, 84 7th Ave South, NYC and fundraising cocktail party “P4” at Brooklyn” Borough Hall on November 9th, 2006. For more information about our events please visit JAMPACT’s website at www.jampact.org.

Jamaica Impact Inc. (“JAMPACT”) had its official launch on September 24, 1998 at the Jamaica Consulate in New York City, and was inspired by the support and encouragement that was received from both the Consul General Dr. Basil Bryan and the Jamaican community in New York City. JAMPACT is a certified 501(c)3 non-profit organization consisting of a diverse group of young Jamaican professionals, students and friends of Jamaica. Our philosophy is to use our collective energies, intelligence and resources, as an impetus for progress in Jamaica. Our main objective is to make positive contributions towards the improvement of social and economic conditions in Jamaica.

Kesha Crichlow

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Written by jamarch