Good Samaritans lend helping hand to Clarendon teen

August 24, 2023
Jamar Brown with grandmother, Kathleen Pusey.
Jamar Brown with grandmother, Kathleen Pusey.

The path is now clear for 18-year-old Jamar Brown to begin his studies at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, after Good Samaritans made donations to cover his first year tuition fee.

Two weeks ago, Brown, in an article published in this newspaper, appealed for help to pay his first semester tuition fee, so he could commence his journey as a university student. The ambitious Clarendon teen said he has been receiving donations from persons and organisations, locally and overseas.

"Since my story got out, I've had help and support in various forms. Persons from all over have reached out to me offering help financially. Some reached out giving advice, words of encouragement and prayers as well," said Brown.

"This has been a huge help. It makes me [realise] persons are out there who can see your vision and are willing to help in any way they can to make it a reality. I am truly happy to know I have the support of so many, and I plan on making everyone of those persons proud," he said.

Brown is set to pursue a degree in political leadership at The UWI. The programme's annual tuition fee is $356,950.

Members of the Clarendon entertainment fraternity also hosted a party on Sunday, and raised funds towards his tuition. Additionally, Clarendon-based organisation James and Friends Education Programme came on board earlier this week, and granted Brown a scholarship worth $300,000 which will be paid over a three-year period. Under the programme, Brown will also receive $15,000 monthly in grocery support for three years. The charity organisation also pledged to sponsor Brown to venture on its student work and travel programme each year.

The Denbigh High School past student was dealt a raw deal, having lost his parents in the span of eight months. In October 2020, his father, Denton Brown, fell victim to a fatal shooting at their residence. That devastating blow was followed by another profound tragedy in June 2021, as his mother, Kedeisha Thomas, died after suffering a stroke.

Brown cited the James and Friends grant as an unexpected blessing, which will pivot him into a brighter future, and make way to offer help to others.

"I am truly grateful as it will help with my tuition and food, and will give me the opportunity to go on work and travel next summer if everything works in my favour. This is something I am truly excited for," said Brown.

Brown's paternal grandmother Kathleen Pusey said she, too, was overwhelmed at the support.

Pusey said she was grateful to THE STAR for first highlighting Brown's story, whereby paving a way for a plethora of assistance. Describing her grandson as a well-mannered and well-behaved young man, Pusey said he was very deserving of the support.

"I am grateful, I am joyful, I cried tears of joy because this is what I always wanted for him, especially since the passing of his dad, because we knew life was not gonna be the same. He had his uncles' shoulders to lean on, but they couldn't do it alone, so I'm glad for the help and this would not be possible without God," Pusey said.

Otis James of James and Friends told THE STAR that he was invited by a party promoter to Sunday's event geared at raising funds on the students' behalf, and was glad to assist.

"I go to school, churches and everywhere to give scholarships. When Jesus Christ was touring the Earth, He went to different places to heal and to care, so it doesn't matter the places I have to go to make a difference in a person's life," said James.

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