CHERINE ANDERSON reaches 40,000 students through foundation
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