Tem­ber’s Do­ing Some­thing Dif­fer­ent

The Star (St. Lucia) - - FEATURE - By Michele-Lau­ren Hack­shaw

Avi­brant young am­bi­tious woman, Tem­ber Cadette has a heart of gold. She’s a giver by na­ture, which may be what led her to found­ing a char­i­ta­ble or­gan­i­sa­tion called ‘Do Some­thing Dif­fer­ent’ (DSD). She helps stu­dents who are un­able to af­ford the ba­sic ne­ces­si­ties for school, which is, as she says, ‘heart-break­ing’. She has big as­pi­ra­tions to fur­ther her­self and her or­gan­i­sa­tion in the fu­ture. Apart from that she’s a dancer, but DSD is her favourite hobby. And, even with work, she has man­aged to keep on top of her game with the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

What was the process of start­ing up the ‘Do Some­thing Dif­fer­ent’ or­gan­i­sa­tion?

Tem­ber: Do Some­thing Dif­fer­ent started sim­ply as an idea. For a few months, I didn’t re­ally know how to go about it. I gath­ered my clos­est friends and spoke to them about it; they were all on board with the idea. We de­cided so­cial me­dia would be our main plat­form con­sid­er­ing DSD is a youth-driven ini­tia­tive. We launched the idea sim­ply on our In­sta­gram pages with a quick ex­pla­na­tion we typed up in notepad and it re­ally just ex­panded from there.

How old is the or­gan­i­sa­tion?

Tem­ber: We launched DSD Jan­uary 10, 2017. So the or­gan­i­sa­tion is roughly sev­en­months-old, still a baby.

What in­spired you to es­tab­lish the or­gan­i­sa­tion?

Tem­ber: I think I’ve given this story at every in­ter­view! I’ll never for­get the day I ob­served a stu­dent at ter­tiary level do­ing an SBA on file sheet. It was re­ally heart-break­ing to watch. It wasn’t the first time I’d seen some­thing like that; all of us (mem­bers of DSD) can iden­tify at least one per­son who wore the same uni­form for five years, or some­one who never had some­thing as sim­ple as a pen or pen­cil of their own, and it re­ally makes you think. It was here that I re­ally de­vel­oped the con­cept of DSD.

What is the con­cept of Do Some­thing Dif­fer­ent?

Tem­ber: Orig­i­nally our mis­sion was to col­lect as many sta­tionery items and school bags as pos­si­ble and re­dis­tribute them to less for­tu­nate stu­dents around the island. When we say sta­tionery we mean sim­ple things that on their own are af­ford­able but when you put it to­gether with ev­ery­thing a stu­dent needs on a daily ba­sis turn out to be quite ex­pen­sive. These items in­clude pens, pen­cils, pen­cil cases, rulers, erasers, sharp­en­ers, sci­en­tific cal­cu­la­tors etc.

How many mem­bers are part of the or­gan­i­sa­tion?

Tem­ber: At the mo­ment DSD only has six mem­bers in­clud­ing my­self. How­ever, we’re look­ing to ex­pand in the near fu­ture!

As the founder of ‘Do Some­thing Dif­fer­ent’ what does your po­si­tion en­tail?

Tem­ber: As the founder I tend to help with ev­ery­thing but my fo­cus has al­ways been col­lect­ing the items and keep­ing track of what we have as we go along. No mat­ter how far away or how small or large the do­na­tion may be I al­ways make it my duty to col­lect it in a timely fash­ion.

How is the or­gan­i­sa­tion do­ing with the new school year open­ing in a few weeks?

We’ve been do­ing pretty well so far. Most of our dona­tions were done be­fore school closed to en­sure stu­dents were ready for the next aca­demic year. How­ever, we’ve re­ceived so many dona­tions since then that we are ac­tu­ally still pre­par­ing more pack­ages to be dis­trib­uted.

Gen­er­ally, how have your ef­forts im­pacted the in­di­vid­u­als you’ve helped? Have you re­ceived any feed­back?

Tem­ber: The feed­back has hon­estly been great. It’s a warm feel­ing to know the help is needed. From teach­ers es­pe­cially, know­ing the needs of the stu­dents, we’ve re­ceived many warm hugs and heart­felt thank yous.

Do you still at­tend school/ have a job? If so, how do you man­age both the or­gan­i­sa­tion and work?

Tem­ber: I grad­u­ated from Sir Arthur Lewis in De­cem­ber 2016. Since then, I’ve com­pleted a math course on­line whilst I’m cur­rently em­ployed at Guards­man. In the be­gin­ning I found it a bit chal­leng­ing but I’ve learned to make good use of my lunch hour and any other wak­ing mo­ment I can get be­fore I rest. It’s re­ally a mat­ter of just know­ing that I have things to do and get­ting it done.

What are your as­pi­ra­tions?

Tem­ber: One of my great­est as­pi­ra­tions right now is to create a DSD Youth Network with young peo­ple from the across the island. I also plan on pur­su­ing a de­gree in Foren­sic Science in the new aca­demic year whilst still main­tain­ing my work with DSD.

Do you have a spe­cific mes­sage you’d like to send out to the public?

Tem­ber: I’d like to re­mind peo­ple that it’s un­fair to ex­pect all stu­dents to per­form at the same level be­cause we’re all of­fered the same qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion. In this era of tech­nol­ogy, re­sources play a huge role. We can’t break the cy­cle un­til we even out the play­ing field. The more re­sources we of­fer our stu­dents, the bet­ter off our na­tion will be.

Tem­ber Cadette, founder of the ‘Do Some­thing Dif­fer­ent’ char­i­ta­ble or­gan­i­sa­tion.

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