There are many ways to beat poverty, and she is doing it by the hair.
Shenae Gordon, a resident of Johnsonland district in the Guy’s Hill area of St Catherine, has become a go-to person for hairstyles that stand out.
She declared that she has been delivering fine finishes since 12 years old, and she has no intention to stop anytime soon – even when she fulfils her other dream of becoming a nurse.
“I am using my skill to achieve the things I need,” said the self-employed holder of a certificate in Cosmetology from the state-owned HEART institute in her community – Guy’s Hill.
Gordon told The Beacon that, after leaving the institute, she worked at beauty salons.
“I worked at several salons, but they pushed me around. I had to do a lot of work for a pay less than what I worked for,” she recalled.
“I put my past behind me, and I am thinking about the future; I am doing a lot better now.”
Gordon, 23, said the challenges she endured have inspired her to always push for better.
“I grew up in a poverty-stricken household with my mother, grandmother, aunts, cousins and brother. It was not easy,” she explained. “I faced a lot of hungry days.”
The go-getter said her father, Charles Gordon, was a farmer who didn’t have much financially. Her mother, Colleen Johnson, worked on an orange farm in the Linstead area of St Catherine.
“My mother didn’t have much, but she made sure I attend school, and I would take PATH lunch and use the little money she gave me for fare,” added the past-student of Jubilee Town Primary and Guy’s Hill High School.
She told The Beacon: “I attended primary school without money or lunch. Thank God for Miss Carol Johnson; she was the cook that helped me and my brother many times.”
Gordon asserted that she is on a journey to make her parents proud and there is no turning back. Nursing school is next.
She advised especially young girls now grappling with the challenges she once faced to hold their heads high and aim for the sky.
“God will see you through,” Gordon added. “Continue to work towards your goals and you eventually will get there.”
By Horace Mills, Journalist
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