Marshanee McLean Making A Difference In Top Hill

November 2, 2022 0 By Jamaica Beacon

Dropping out of high school was not the end of Marshanee McLean, better known as Vie, who is now a practical nurse and philanthropist at heart.

“At times I might see myself [as being] really in need, but no matter how you need something there is somebody who needs it more,” said the 38-year-old former janitor.

She hails from Top Hill district in Lluidas Vale Division, St. Catherine.

She attended Top Hill Primary School, and later Crofts Hill Primary and Junior High in Clarendon where she sat the now defunct Grade Nine Achievement Test and was placed at Spanish Town High.

Some of the persons at a treat hosted recently by Marshanee McLean, better known as Vie.

After dropping out of high school due to pregnancy, the single mother, who now has four children, put her education and employment opportunities on hold to care for her offspring.

In subsequent search for a sustainable livelihood, she engineered a renaissance of her educational pursuit.

She studied at Lluidas Vale Heart Trust NTA Vocational Training Centre (2012-2013). There, she acquired a certificate in Hospitality Management (Levels I and II) and a Team Jamaica certificate in Housekeeping.

Being the breadwinner for her children, McLean eventually sought employment. She started out as a janitor at Top Hill Primary School, where she worked for a year and was able to use her relatively small income to “fill gaps”.

Still yearning for more, McLean acted on her care-giving nature and took a shot at the field of nursing. In 2019, she enrolled at Macedonia School of Nursing in Linstead, St. Catherine.

Upon successful completion of her studies, she was awarded her certificate in practical nursing.

Since then, McLean has been working as a caregiver at a private home.

She told The Beacon that she takes pride in caring for others.

In addition to hosting her own treat, Marshanee McLean also heads a church-based group that often provides care packages to needy residents. Photo provided.

Her propensity to love and care for others, she explained, originated in familial circumstances.

Her maternal grandmother died when her mother was three years old. As a result of that, her mother became a foster daughter of her cousin Estella McLean and her husband Alphanso Wilson.

“I have a [foster] grandmother (Estella McLean) who gives nuff, so I developed it from her,” McLean told The Beacon. “Growing up was challenging; it was hard. We didn’t have it (many material things), but we felt rich.”

Having benefited from the generosity mainly of her foster grandparents who raised her, McLean recently took the initiative to give back to her community of Top Hill.

Her treat, held at Top Hill Primary School, did not only benefit at least 70 children; it also benefited the entire community.

“My ultimate goal in hosting the treat was bringing the community together. At the end of the day, it’s just to share love and for each and every one to just give it once they have something they can share,” McLean added.

In addition to participating in face-painting and recreational activities, the children received snacks as well as school supplies such as bags, books and other stationery. They also got hand sanitizers and wipes, which were useful in helping to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There were three students who did their Primary Exit Profile (PEP) exams at the school (Top Hill Primary) and so I personally get them their geometry sets and school bags,” McLean added.

This undated photo shows the baby version of Marshanee McLean (left) hanging out with her sister Nerissa McLean.

While expressing gratitude to all her sponsors, she stated that the community’s strong support exceeded her expectations.

“Persons are saying it’s a good thing and persons are really thankful,” she said.

Noting that there wasn’t much time between conceptualization and execution of the treat, McLean said she intends to use the lessons learnt from it to make future ones better.

“Hopefully, we can get sponsorship next year so we can get something bigger,” she wished.
Although it is the first time that McLean was hosting the treat, she is not new to philanthropic deeds and community involvement.

She is President of an emerging voluntary group known as Ladies On A Mission. She also heads a group called Caring And Sharing, which is based at the Seventh Day Life-giving Church of God in Top Hill district.

In relation to the church-based group, McLean explained: “What we normally do is, like every three months, we come together and do a little church concert, and just get persons to give us cash or bring in food. The food they bring in, we package it out. And the persons in the church would go around and help persons in the community – including older persons or somebody who is just in need.”

McLean is hopeful that, through her benevolence, lives are being touched.


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