Mon | Jan 18, 2021

Yellesah Thomas creates academic opportunities

Published:Saturday | August 15, 2020 | 12:08 AMVanessa James/Gleaner Writer
Yellesah Thomas, owner of Academics Anywhere JA.
Yellesah Thomas, owner of Academics Anywhere JA.

What does a teacher whose one purpose in life is to help do? She starts an online platform where those who will be sitting the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) can benefit from online classes in different subject areas.

At least this is what Yellesah Thomas, a teacher at B&B University and the Pre-University located at Taylor Hall on The University of the West Indies, Mona campus, opted to undertake when she realised that due to the coronavirus pandemic, many students and adults would be at a disadvantage.

“I usually have Saturday classes for my students from school, and in light of COVID-19, I wanted to go online and offer marathons, but, you know, with the whole scamming thing, I didn’t want people to think that I was trying to scam them of their money, so I just said, ‘I am going to register so if anything happens, I have proof’,” Thomas said.

The company was registered on July 16, 2020, and it was on this day that Thomas realised that her vision was way bigger than just having marathons for students. Thus, Academics Anywhere JA was born, with the aim of providing a platform where both students and adults can go to school and complete their secondary education with some amount of comfort.

“With offering the courses online, it would be a perfect opportunity, and the classes are recorded and saved so they can always go back and rewatch the class that they missed,” shared Thomas.

SECOND ARM COMPANY

In addition to classes, Academics Anywhere JA has a second arm to the company, where students benefit from career advice and leadership coaching.

“What I have included in Academics Anywhere JA are two free sessions to leadership development coaching and two free sessions to academic and career advice. So, once they sign on, at some point during the year, they will get those sessions,” Thomas shared before disclosing that while her passion is to help people through motivational speeches and leadership coaching, she never thought that she would own a company.

In order to register for classes at Academics Anywhere JA, interested parties can follow the link in their Instagram bio at ( academicsanywhereja.com) or they can call the number provided and the directions will be given.

“Once you register, we follow up with emails and calls, and for most of the persons who sign up, we go through a screening process with them to understand what they want out of life academically and career-wise and ensure that the subjects they are choosing are in line with their future goals and not just signing up for courses only because they don’t have any CSEC and CAPE subjects,” said Thomas.

Each course costs $35,000, and students have access to all the course materials, including the textbooks for the subject. Payment is done via bank transfer, or it can be paid at a Bank of Nova Scotia branch.

“Registration closes September 7, 2020, and will be open at a later date to facilitate students who are already in school but they were probably not recommended to do a certain subject that they know they can do, so they can still come and sign on with us,” said the new business owner.

She believes that her company can go a far way and that with the Government’s involvement, it could reach even more people. With the existence of the Career Advancement Programme, Thomas is of the view that “it would be a good opportunity to come on board with us to facilitate the same programme to individuals, allowing them to work while they go to school because some people really don’t have a choice, and people usually choose earning when the choices are between earning or learning because of how their life is set up.”

Thomas added that she hopes to partner with business process outsourcing centres and security companies to offer discounted rates so that team members who have a desire to complete their secondary education can do so and would not have to stop working.

vanessa.james@gleanerjm.com