Dr Veronica Campbell gives back with SUCCOR NOW
Dr Veronica Campbell launched Succor Now Education Foundation, to assist youth with financial challenges, just as how Isolin McKinley helped to save her and made her into the woman she is today.
She was born in Summer Hill district in St James. She was raised by her grandmother until the age of nine. Back then, she remembered her childhood being happy and she was comforted by her grandmother's prayers before the crack of dawn. To date, this is one of her fondest memories.
At the age of nine she went to live with her mother. Campbell admits that this was the first time that she really had a relationship with her mother, and she would later get to know her father.
The tables truly turned for her when she turned 15 years old. Her father had said that he would not be spending his money on a girl child, and she decided that it was time to move on.
"I looked around my environment and decided there was nothing to accomplish hanging around," she told Outlook.
She left to live with a relative who earlier had left their number with her mother. That also did not work out for her, and soon Campbell found herself on the streets looking for a job, because returning home was not a choice that she was willing to make. There was no turning back and she found Carmen McBean, who ran an agency from her living room, finding work for household helper.
Then her luck struck, as she was placed in the home of Easton and Isolin McKinley, both of whom treated her like a family member. Isolin transitioned from employer to a provider, and then mentor. Isolin helped her to get her first home, her first job, and encouraged her to further her education.
"I left Jamaica in January of 1989 with the advice of my mentor, Isolyn McKinley. We had a discussion about going further with my education. She believed I would do better going to school there, so she provided the opportunity," Campbell told Outlook.
She seized the opportunity and never looked back.
The transition was a difficult one. It took some time getting used to, but she did what she left Jamaica to achieve - an education.
She attended Nova Southeastern University, where she pursued a Bachelors of Science in management, and a master's in human resources management (with a minor in public administration). She went on to do her PhD in public policy and administration at Walden University.
She moved from working in corporate to the education sector, and now she has decided to give back to the place of her birth in starting Succor Now.
"Succor Now Education Foundation honours the memory of Mrs Isolin McKinley, her contribution to a community and her engagement, encouragement and support for individuals who dare to aspire beyond their visual means," she noted.
Succor is actually an acronym - strengthen, understand, compassion, care, overcome and resilience, the goals that the organisation sets out to achieve with its children.
"We hope to garner enough funding to help as much students with financial challenges as possible to achieve their goal. No amount is too small to donate to the organisation. I am passionate about this. It only takes one person to make a difference in the life of a child. I am a perfect example," she told Outlook.