The overcomer | Jodian Henry

Born in a financially struggling family, Jodian Henry was disappointed when the Students’ Loan Bureau declined to approve a loan for her to attend the University of the West Indies.

“Not getting that loan totally threw me off,” she told The Beacon, adding that she was among the first persons in her immediate family to have attended a traditional high school.

Henry shelved her plans to pursue the Sciences in university when her loan application was turned down. “There was no other way for me to fund university at the time,” said the past-student of Golden Grove All Age School and St Hilda’s Diocesan High – both in St Ann.

Left at the proverbial crossroad, Henry, armed with a Diploma in Natural Sciences from Moneague College, ventured into the gruelling world of work.

Her first job was as an Assistant at the St Ann-based Bamboo Branch Library in 2009. She was age 18.

She subsequently did a brief stint at Tax Administration Jamaica.

Henry, in 2011, moved to the state-owned St Ann Development Company, where she initially was employed as a Temporary Clerical Officer in the Human Resource Department. She, over the years, rose to become Senior Secretary in the said Department.

Henry went back to school, and is now completing her self-funded Bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management at the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean.

She is happy that, despite the many twists of fate experienced, she has remained in a place of dignity, and has been reaping success grounded in hard work.

“Knowing the hardship of my family, I put myself in a position to say, ‘if I fail on one level of my dream, I can succeed on another level’. I didn’t centre my life around Science alone,” said the native of Claremont, St Ann.

Her professionalism and competence on the job as Senior Secretary have not gone unnoticed. Henry, this year, was nominated to vie for the Administrative Professional of the Year title in St Ann. She won that parish contest, and later competed with four administrative professionals at the national level.

Henry did not win the national competition. She earned the commendable First Runner Up spot, finishing behind Glenese Tulloch of Manchester who was adjudged All-Island Administrative Professional of the Year (2019/2020).

The competition, nonetheless, is among the highest points of Henry’s life.

“It feels really good representing my parish,” she told The Beacon.

“I am now going out there to make my mark, and to make persons know who I am and what my potentials are.”

Henry, who is the mother of a five-year-old son – Jaemar Brown, said she wants more people to become cognizant of the fundamental role administrative professionals play at their places of employment.

“Persons originally would classify administrative professionals as secretaries, but we have navigated from that,” she asserted.

“We are now like the side boss; we are the bosses behind the scene in the companies where we work. So, don’t look at an administrative professional’s job as a mediocre one.”

Henry, who considers herself a motivational speaker, disclosed that she intends to establish an organization aimed at inspiring young women.

Meanwhile, President of the St Ann Chapter of the Association of Administrative Professionals, Marilyn Wisdom Garrick, said her team holds Henry in high esteem, and is proud of her accomplishment.

“Miss Henry has a lot more to offer the administrative profession, and her latest achievement sets the platform for her further growth and development,” Garrick told The Beacon. “Congratulations Jodian, and continue to maintain high standards of professionalism.”

By Horace Mills, Journalist


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