Not a person to wallow in self pity, Herchelle Crosdale, currently a farm worker and mother of two boys, is always searching for ways to advance herself and her family.
And she has come a far way doing it.
After graduating from Seaforth High School in St Thomas with only two CSEC subjects from the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC), Crosdale moved to the neighbouring parish of Portland to seek employment. There, she got a job at the Portland Municipal Corporation.
Two years later, she, feeling homesick, decided to move back to her rural community of Roselle, located in St Thomas Western.
She later became employed as a security officer based at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston until she got pregnant with her first child at age 25.
“Though I was disappointed and I felt as if I let down my family, it did not deter me from surpassing many expectations in my quest to succeed,” she told The Beacon.
Three years after the birth of her son, Crosdale got pregnant with her second child.
“Being a young mother of two boys, I knew that I had to start doing something to be able to provide for them. My parents are very supportive, and even as an adult they would try their best for me to be comfortable. However, as a grown woman, I knew that I needed my own independence,” she added.
With independence on her mind, Crosdale, in 2011, started working at Tastee in Morant Bay, St Thomas, as a counter clerk and cashier.
In less than a year at that restaurant, she was promoted to Team Leader.
While at Tastee, Crosdale felt the need to elevate herself, and so she attended weekend and evening classes where she attained three more CXC subjects, bringing the total to five.
In 2014, the Morant Bay Primary past student resigned from Tastee and started traveling to Canada seasonally on the government’s farm work programme. Being a natural leader, she was quickly promoted to lead her batch-mates on the programme.
“Doing farm work in Canada is not easy,” Crosdale declared. “We have to work extremely hard despite the weather condition, but I do it with joy and pride knowing that my sons and extended family will reap the benefits of my labour.”
Even when she is in Canada, Crosdale ensures that she plays an active role in her children’s lives.
“My older son Shakiel was successful in his Grade Six Achievement Test to attend Kingston College and, although I was unable to attend his graduation, I felt proud knowing that I am making a positive impact in his life,” added Crosdale who is on the verge of leaving for Canada again.
Shakiel commented: “My mother is the best mother in the world. She provides for us and we are able to talk to her about anything without being fearful. She ensures that Dashaun and I get what we need and, because of that, she is just simply amazing.”
Crosdale is not only admired by her family, but also by community members.
“She is a hardworking, resilient and straightforward lady who always does what she sees necessary to make her children happy,” her neighbour Kimani Campbell stated.
Crosdale is the only female among her parents’ six children, and she believes that contributes to her strength as a woman.
“It’s a competitive world we are living in,” she noted. “You will encounter insurmountable challenges, but stay focused knowing that your dreams can be accomplished if you are determined. Nothing is wrong by emulating someone, but always be yourself. It may take months or even years to reach where you want to reach, but if you keep trying you will get there. Being a lady is not an excuse to being weak, and I have learnt that from my phenomenal mother.”
Her parents are Pauline and Winston Crosdale.
By Damion Doyley, Beacon Writer – Portland and St Thomas
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