Ambitious St Mary teenager gets assistance
Hard work is paying off for Guys Hill High School student Nathan Douglas in unexpected ways.
The teenager, whose dedication to his secondary-school advancement, found him seeking employment on a construction site in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, became an overnight media sensation. The 17-year-old St Mary native's dogged pursuit to fund his access to online classes endeared him to Prime Minister Andrew Holness (through his Positive Jamaica Foundation) and SAINT International CEO and TV talk-show host Deiwght Peters. Douglas recently received a $100,000 donation towards his educational welfare.
Douglas' story initially came to national prominence in THE STAR. Peters booked Douglas as a guest on his Television Jamaica lifestyle show, Rolling with Deiwght Peters.
"Honestly, I didn't expect to receive the money at all," a still-shocked Douglas told THE STAR. "I thought it was just a question-and-answer interview for the camera. So I was really grateful for the exposure from Mr Peters and the gifts I am receiving at this part of my life, as it has been really tough. I look on the bright side because the light finally appeared."
Douglas said he felt immensely respected to know Holness was moved by his story.
"The prime minister's positive remarks which he videotaped and sent through Mr Peters was a motivation to me, which made me feel good about being myself," he said.
It's pure positivity for Douglas, who someday wishes to be a fighter pilot in the Jamaica Defence Force's Air Wing Division. He advises his peers "to have faith in the Lord" but said that prayer without works is nothing.
"So you have to improvise, and don't be ashamed of any hustle out there, whether it be a labour job on a site, washing a car, changing a tyre or selling at a job. Just be you and don't watch the persons out there who judge," he said.
Meanwhile, Douglas' principal Joan Davis says he is completely deserving.
"I was moved to tears when I learnt of Nathan's very commendable initiative to fund his online schooling by getting a job. It speaks to his level of independence and his determination to be successful in spite of the challenges of life. I am very proud of him, as he seemed to have fully internalised our theme for this academic year, 'Overcoming challenges with resilience, forging ahead with determination'."
Peters said he is humbled to play a part in recognising a spirited young man. "Nathan is an uplifting reinforcement that there's great things happening in our beloved island with some of our young people. His singular focus on being adaptable and resourceful warmed my heart, and I knew I had to give him a platform to share this story on my show with Jamaicans here and abroad," he said.
In addition to the $100, 000 financial gift, Peters was also able to facilitate the donation of a tablet from Education Minister Fayval Williams.