legislators to pass good commonsense gun-control laws, support families by pushing for a living wage of US$15 an hour, and to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline. And it’s this background that helped me make the decision to run for state representative here in the States.
“My win over a 24-year incumbent, and one of the most powerful persons in Rhode Island was won by the people of my district who needed a legislator who would work for all of its constituents. It was also won by the hundreds of volunteers and donors who believed in my message. My family and my siblings also helped and supported me as they have always done.”
But even as she takes on the fight to ensure fairness in representation for her Rhode Island community, she still has an ear and a heart for opportunities to help in Jamaica.
“Books gave me wings, so for the last three years, every summer my siblings and I head back to our old neighbourhood in Eleven Miles, Bull Bay, and, through the generous donations of family and friends here in the United States, we have distributed thousands of K-12 books and school supplies to children in need,” she says.
“I am a born-again Christian and I attend Ebenezer Baptist Church, but my home church in Jamaica is the church my father started in 1963, the Eleven Miles New Testament Church of God.”
PRAISE FOR PARENTS
Books gave me wings, so for the last three years, every summer my siblings and I head back to our old neighbourhood in Eleven Miles, Bull Bay and through the generous donations of family and friends here in the United States, we have distributed thousands of K-12 books and school supplies to children in need.
She gives high praise to her parents, and her grade-school teachers.
“My flight from poverty also came because I had the greatest teachers at Bull Bay All-Age School. They invested in me and encouraged me to dream big, work hard and I could be anything I wanted to be.”
Her world view is influenced by the value system that her parents inculcated in all of their children. “You work hard, you respect people, you believe in the power of God to do wonderful things and you give to your community your talents, your treasures and your time.”
She earned a diploma in teaching from St Joseph’s Teachers’ College and taught at School of Hope for The Mentally Handicapped as well of John Mills All-Age School in Kingston.
Now a high-school English language arts teacher, she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in community health education from Rhode Island College, a grades 7-12 English certification and a Master of Arts degree in special education from Providence College.
She lives in Providence, Rhode Island, with husband Van Vassell and their three sons – a 23-yearold and 20-year-old twins.