Paula Allen-Bobb, author of a motivational book, is not oblivious to the transformative power of motivation.
Motivation helped to rescue her from a past blemished by domestic abuse, poverty, child sexual abuse, and also teenage pregnancy.
Her childhood plunge continued when her father, in 1975, became mentally challenged – and remains that way to this very day.
Bobb told The Beacon that she grew up in a tenement yard at 99 Church Street, Kingston.
“The environment was a pretty rough one,” she recalled.
Desirous of a better life, Bobb’s family sent her in pursuit of an education. She went to Saint Aloysius Primary School, New Day All Age, and Kingston Technical High.
But she dropped out of high school in Grade 10 due to pregnancy.
“There was a lot of shame that surrounded that pregnancy – a lot of disappointment not finishing my education,” she commented.
After giving birth to her son, Bobb struggled to find academic stability. She started courses at private colleges, but didn’t complete them.
She ended up working for more than a year at a shipping company. In addition, she worked briefly as a sales representative in the Cosmetics Department at the then Kmart.
A grand opportunity emerged for Bobb to travel to Canada. “I was not even interested in going overseas at the time,” she said.
But her mother, Marlene Anderson-Williams, encouraged her to take a shot at the opportunity.
She did it in 1991.
Bobb recalled that, when she arrived in Canada, she had a culture shock and a warm time adjusting to the cold climate.
But she started to find her footing.
She worked at a daycare centre as an early childhood education assistant. She later became a receptionist at an accounting firm before she found employment in a store – La Senza Corporation.
Bobb said she is now employed in the film industry as an actress, model and performer.
In fact, she had been dabbling in the performing arts since her teenage years. In 1987, for example, she entered the Miss Jamaica Independence Pageant. Although she was the youngest contestant at the time, she won the ‘Most Talented’ segment with a rendition of Jennifer Rush’s song titled ‘Power of Love’.
Bobb, who is now also a published author, told The Beacon: “I started writing all the way back from primary school. I would write quotes all over the place – all over the house.”
Her first book – ‘Let Go; Let Joy!’ – can be purchased by CLICKING HERE.
Bobb, a mother of two, is married to clergyman Tyrone Bobb, who founded a church – Tyrone A. Bobb Ministries – in Toronto, Canada.
Bobb, like her husband, is a devout Christian.
She recalled getting baptized in her teens and regularly attending a church located a stone’s throw from her inner-city home.
“We had a lot of crime and poverty, but we also had a church,” Bobb noted. “My church always tried to help the poor attendees like my family and children around the area as well.”
Bobb added that, while growing up, she was fascinated by the missionaries who travelled from abroad to visit her church – the First Missionary Church at 58 East Street, Kingston.
“It was always fascinating to see them come to the island and live humbly with us and serve in the communities,” Bobb told The Beacon.
She also was impressed with her mother’s philanthropy.
“My mom was big on helping out in the community. She is always serving and assisting the elders, and she would take in a child to help out a parent as well,” Bobb said.
“I developed that passion [for philanthropy] from what I saw as a child. Selflessness became a trait I desired, but I never thought I would ever be qualified to serve in missions then, because I had nothing to offer. “
Bobb, in 2013, started doing missions for different organizations. Her first trip was to China, where her team served at an orphanage.
She eventually started her own missionary work through the church her husband founded.
One of her main objectives is to give back to her native Jamaica, where she has been hosting back-to-school treats annually for about eight years now.
Bobb, in the throes of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic last year, travelled to Jamaica and helped hundreds.
“Choosing to do missions in the pandemic might seem risky to some,” she reasoned. “However, mission work was never meant to be about comfort. Risk is always involved.”
Bobb, who intends to start an international charity organization, hopes that, through her missions, she will also help people to let go of their sordid past – just like she did.
“The only way to move forward is to let go of what might have been a sad past, and create the joyful life you desire,” she commented.
To purchase a copy of her motivational book, CLICK HERE.
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