SHELICE Anderson had a front-row view as her hardworking mother tried her hand at various entrepreneurial ventures to provide for her family. Being the only girl of three children meant that Shelice would sit by her mother while she did dressmaking, help her to prepare the fruits that she sold, and accompany her on weekends when she peddled clothes in Falmouth.
“So I have always seen her doing different things to make money, and I was always actively involved in the process, so I never saw myself doing anything outside of business,” Anderson, who is now a finalising accounting student at The University of Technology, told All Woman.
It was no surprise that after leaving Herbert Morrison Technical High School as a top CSEC student with the requisite business and foundational subjects, Anderson went straight into the four-year joint programme that UTech offers in partnership with Montego Bay Community College.
“Although both my parents work very hard and try their best to finance my education, I didn’t want to pressure them, so I always look for ways to help to ease some of the burden,” she shared, explaining that in previous years she had worked summer jobs in call centres, and was planning to participate in the student work and travel programme this year to help offset her final year costs.
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“But because of COVID-19, I saw that that was not going to happen. I was fearful of going to a call centre since our first COVID-19 spike started in one. My mother was working, but the site where she sells food now is basically wrapping up, and my father wasn’t working for a few months, so I started looking around for a scholarship,” she recalled.
Shelice learned about JMMB’s Joan Duncan Foundation scholarship through social media, and decided that she had nothing to lose by applying. What she had to gain, and what she did eventually gain, was a timely $350,000 towards her final year university fees.
It was while serving a summer internship with Accurate Accounting Services Limited in Trelawny, however, that Anderson learned exactly what she wanted to do with her degree in accounting.
“While I was there, a lot of people were trying to get loans for their businesses. But in order to get a loan, you need to ensure that you have proper records of income, expenses and taxes and so on. They did not have that, or even a proper plan in place for the business,” she lamented.
“So when I am a certified accountant and I have more experience in the field, what I want to do is to give back my services to people within the community who want it.”
Though Shelice is just in her early twenties, she is certain of the impact that she wants to have in the lives of others, and she uses this to ground herself in who she is. “One of the things of which I am most proud of is just realising who I am and what I want at this age,” she said boldly.
“I know many people in their thirties and forties, and even older, who still haven’t figured out who they really are, and that in itself causes a cycle of other problems. At this point, I genuinely feel like I know what I want, and I am grateful for that.”
Though she dares not make a prediction on where life will take her immediately after finishing her degree next year, the young scholar will always have her beloved parish in her heart. “I’m the first person to go to university from my family, but I don’t want it to end there,” she said.
“I want to be able to help my wider community. Many times I see small businesses start up in Falmouth, and within a few months they close down again. So just being able to help somebody to foster and learn how to grow their business, even through the things that I see my mother doing, so that they can better themselves, would be my dream come true.”
Shelice Anderson not only wants to pay it forward by nurturing other small businesses as her mother’s businesses nurtured her, but she also wants to pay it back to her mother — with interest.
“I am not sure what will come my way or what God will bless me with, but in the next few years I should be in a position where I have more than one stream of revenue,” she said hopefully.
“My mother works very hard. Right now she wakes up at about 3:00 each morning to start cooking, and I think it’s full time she gets out of this particular business. Hopefully very soon I will be able to help her in some way.”
“Shelice Anderson – Determined to Win” was sourced from the Jamaica Observer All Women article by CANDIECE KNIGHT, published Monday, December 7, 2020. Follow us for up to date scholarship and education related news on our social media account.