Ryon Gor­don gets help!

Jamaica Gleaner - - RURAL EXPRESS - Shanique Samuels Gleaner Writer ru­ral@glean­erjm.com

MAY PEN, Claren­don: FTER READ­ING Ryon Gor­don’s story pub­lished in The Gleaner last month, Ju­nior James felt com­pelled to ex­tend a hand to a fel­low brother de­sirous of be­com­ing one of Ja­maica’s most pro­duc­tive young men.

The ar­ti­cle, ‘Not De­terred: Young man with heart prob­lem re­fuses to bow to chal­lenges’, pub­lished on Au­gust 18, chron­i­cled the story of how doc­tors al­most gave up on Gor­don as he stopped breath­ing for close to two hours when he was 11 months old.

Twenty-one years later, Gor­don is

ARyon Gor­don strug­gles with a heart con­di­tion. alive and well, and has taken the first step to­wards be­com­ing a cer­ti­fied pro­fes­sional chef.

“I met him af­ter I read the story and af­ter speak­ing with him, I re­alised he re­ally wanted to do this,” said James, who is the co­or­di­na­tor at Mid­dle­sex In­ter­na­tional Col­lege. He has of­fered to fa­cil­i­tate Gor­don’s school­ing through the col­lege, along with the pro­vi­sion of lunch and trans­porta­tion al­lowance for the du­ra­tion of the year-long com­mer­cial food prepa­ra­tion course in which he is cur­rently en­rolled.

BEST EF­FORT

“I ex­pect him to put out his best ef­fort in all ar­eas of com­mer­cial food prep, which is the skills com­po­nent as well as in math, English, data (IT) and en­trepreneur­ship, and en­sure that he is cer­ti­fied at the end of the pro­gramme, af­ter which I will as­sist him with job place­ment or if he wants to move on to lev­els three and four,” James told Ru­ral Xpress.

He ex­plained that the school, based at the Ver­salles Ho­tel in May Pen, was founded on the ba­sis of help­ing per­sons in sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties by pro­vid­ing a plat­form for skills train­ing so they can help them­selves be­cause, af­ter high school, many per­sons will not be able to move on to univer­sity or col­lege.

James said he is con­cerned about Gor­don’s ca­pac­ity to cope with the work­load (con­sid­er­ing his ill­ness). “I was as­sured that if he re­ally wants it, he will put out the ex­tra ef­fort to achieve it. It may be dif­fi­cult but not im­pos­si­ble, and noth­ing beats hard work. And even if he doesn’t fin­ish at the top of his class, once he fin­ishes that’s good enough,” he told Ru­ral Xpress. James added: “I also saw in The Gleaner where he said a tablet would help him to fa­cil­i­tate his learn­ing and so­cial in­ter­ac­tion and so I de­cided to spon­sor him a tablet, too.” The co­or­di­na­tor said he was blessed with ex­tra­or­di­nary par­ents who were able to ful­fil his needs. “When I was younger, I re­ally wanted to help my friends, but then I wasn’t in a po­si­tion to do so. But now I’m in a po­si­tion to help, es­pe­cially young peo­ple; and so I will, and it makes me proud to as­sist.” “Ev­ery­thing I dreamed of is hap­pen­ing right now. I have been ac­cepted into a pro­gramme to make that dream a re­al­ity,” Gor­don said, adding that he was very ner­vous on his first day. Al­ready, he has made friends who are help­ing him to set­tle. “I feel good about be­ing here and I think it’s a great op­por­tu­nity for me. When I fin­ish, I am hop­ing to open a busi­ness so I can pro­vide a ser­vice and help other peo­ple by pro­vid­ing em­ploy­ment. To the spon­sors, I want to say thank you, be­cause if it wasn’t for them, I would be home com­plain­ing and get­ting de­pressed. I hope other young peo­ple sit­ting at home will see this as an ex­am­ple to get up and do some­thing too.” “Ryon is in a sit­u­a­tion where he could have given up, but he didn’t, he put him­self out there to re­ceive as­sis­tance and I com­mend him for that. Able-bod­ied per­sons should stop beg­ging and try to do some­thing mean­ing­ful with their time and stop wast­ing their lives,” James noted. Spon­sor Ju­nior James (left) hands over a tablet to Ryon Gor­don.

Young man with heart con­di­tion real­is­ing his dream

PHOTO BY SHANIQUE SAMUELS

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