Celebrity past students of the prestigious Wolmer’s Boys and Girls Schools have joined the institution’s Covid 19 Fundraising Drive to assist current pupils with online learning during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The drive is being spearheaded by the Wolmer’s Overseas Alumni Associations in Florida, Atlanta, New York and Toronto, Canada.
Grammy award winning recording artist Sean Paul, World Champion and Olympic gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, award winning playwright and actor David Heron, reggae dancehall artist Wayne Marshall and stylist and social media influencer Norma Williams are among the past Wolmerians who have already joined the effort.
Representing the ‘Generation X’ of more recent Wolmerians is double World Junior gold medalist and Commonwealth Games medalist, hurdler Jaheel Hyde.
According to Phillip Reid, member of the New York chapter of the Wolmer’s Overseas Alumni, the Covid 19 Fundraising Drive is an initiative to raise funds for Wolmer’s boys and girls in need of internet access to continue their classes remotely.
“Once the Covid 19 pandemic was upon us,” Reid says, “And schools across Jamaica closed to transition to online learning, we became aware that at both the boys and girls schools, there were many students who were adversely affected. In some cases they lacked the actual devices to access online teaching, and in other instances they had the devices but could not afford to purchase the very expensive data plans that they would need to use their devices. So the overseas alumni associations came together to see how we could assist the local efforts of both schools in Jamaica, and this is the result.”
Reid reached out to fellow Wolmerian David Heron, who has been instrumental in contacting and recruiting some of the school’s most well known personalities to become ambassadors for the drive.
“I was extremely happy to do this for Wolmer’s once Phillip contacted me,” says Heron, “And when we discussed a strategy for getting the word out to as many people as possible, we felt that asking some of our most renowned Wolmerians to do radio commercials and social media videos promoting the cause would be the best way to go. And I’m pleased to say that everyone we approached has stepped up tremendously.”
Heron and Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce have already voiced radio commercials for the drive, which have been airing in New York and Florida. Sean Paul, Wayne Marshall, Norma Williams, Jaheel Hyde and Heron himself will shortly be seen in a series of self taped videos which will appear on various social media platforms.
Reid is extremely proud of the array of talented individuals that Wolmer’s has produced over the years and which is represented in the Wolmerians now promoting the cause.
“When John Wolmer founded our school 291 years ago- making us one of the oldest academic institutions in the Caribbean – I’m not sure even he could have envisaged the contributions that would come from those who have passed through our gates. Grammy winners, Olympic champions, world class musicians, actors of stage and screen, fashion icons- we have a lot to celebrate. These ladies and gentlemen of excellence who are now using their names to give back to our school represent the very best of Wolmer’s, and they are still only a small fraction of the thousands of accomplished family members we are so happy to call ‘Wolmerians’. They truly continue to live up to our motto, ‘Age Quod Agis’ – which means “Whatever You Do, Do It Well.” And we are very proud of that.”