CHERINE AN­DER­SON reaches 40,000 stu­dents through foun­da­tion

The Star (Jamaica) - - FEATURE - STEPHANIE LYEW STAR Writer

Cherine An­der­son’s heroes are her par­ents, but there are other per­sons who could pos­si­bly earn the ti­tle from her based on her def­i­ni­tion of a true hero.

She listed en­ter­tainer Pa­trick Lind­say, who ed­u­cated her about the busi­ness of mu­sic, and Sly and Rob­bie as her heroes.

“Pa­trick has helped me ex­pand and es­tab­lish busi­nesses out­side of en­ter­tain­ment and has taught me about mu­sic pub­lish­ing and de­vel­op­ing busi­ness strate­gies, while Sly and Rob­bie push me to de­velop my over­all skills, not just as a singer and writer. I’m still learn­ing pa­tience and trust­ing the cre­ative process from Sly, while Rob­bie has started to teach me how to play his clas­sic bass lines to some of my pop­u­lar songs. I have truly learned the value of team­work from these men,” she said.


An­der­son said that while she does not ac­tively look for heroes, she has ob­served peo­ple who are self­less in their in­ter­ac­tions and deeds. “Those peo­ple are every­day heroes,” she said.

An­der­son has been the driv­ing force be­hind the Reach One Child (ROC) Foun­da­tion, which she part­nered with her men­tor, Lind­say, to es­tab­lish. The foun­da­tion has as­sisted more than 40,000 stu­dents across the is­land and awarded ap­prox­i­mately 35 schol­ar­ships over the past 13 years.

“Ini­tially, the ROC schol­ar­ship pro­gramme was es­tab­lished to as­sist mo­ti­vated sixth-grade stu­dents with ver­i­fi­able fi­nan­cial needs through­out their high-school years. But af­ter our first group of schol­ars, we re­alised that there was a greater need for men­tor­ship and have since or­gan­ised for school tours with that in mind,” she said.

On the ques­tion of her work through ROC be­ing heroic, An­der­son made it clear that she does not con­sider her­self a hero.

“I think we are all ca­pa­ble of do­ing the right things. It’s re­ally sim­ple. Just de­cide you want to help some­one, and do it. And not be­cause you’ll get at­ten­tion, a pro­mo­tion or some pub­lic acknowledgement – you just do some­thing good for an­other per­son, just like you would want some­one to be good to you,” she said.

“I re­ally can’t say that I have adapted or em­u­lated any traits from our na­tional heroes, but I am grate­ful for their con­tri­bu­tion to Ja­maica. They fought against a lot to in­flu­ence leg­is­la­tion, civil rights, hu­man rights – all things that are su­per im­por­tant.”

Sly Dun­bar (left) and Rob­bie Shake­speare Cherine An­der­son

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