Jamaican introduces Obama at rally for Hillary Clinton
A diminutive young woman from Portland, Jamaica, has etched her name into history when she introduced United States President Barack Obama at a Democratic party rally in Florida on October 20.
Dominique Nicholson, 20, told THE STAR that her classmates and friends at Florida Memorial University (FMU) were shocked after she introduced Obama.
"Everybody who knows me knows that I am this quiet person and that I am really shy, so they were really shocked," Nicholson said.
Obama was in South Florida to drum up support for Hillary Clinton, who is in a race for the presidency with the Republican's Donald Trump.
Raymond Pryce, a young Jamaican politician, said that Nicholson's selection is a feather in Jamaica's hat.
"For a Jamaican to have been selected, the odds are stacked against her. It goes to show that she is a vibrant young woman who is alert to the current happenings in the society around her, and has stepped forward, made her voice known, and has at least gotten the attention of the organisers to have caused her to be selected. It just goes to show that Jamaicans will rise to the top, particularly our young people, and I think that all of us can take some inspiration from that fact," Pryce said.
But before she walked on the platform in front of the thousands of persons who were in attendance, and the millions of people who tuned in on television and on the Internet, fear grappled the student who is majoring in finance.
"I was very nervous before the speech, but I prayed and asked God to bless me with courage and confidence," Nicholson recounted. "I had to remind myself that he chose me to do this and that's why I did so well."
Nicholson said that she only learned that she was chosen to give the introductory speech two days before the event.
"The lady who was assigned to help me confirmed it with me and then, after that, I was basically preparing for the speech," Nicholson said.
"We finish writing the speech Tuesday, then I started practising right away."
Last Thursday's introductory speech is not the only thing Nicholson has excelled in during her tenure at FMU. The Portland native's grades reflect those of a model student.
"I have been on the Dean's List ever since I have gotten here. I made the President's List two times," Nicholson said. The Dean's List is awarded to students with GPAs of 3.5 and over, while the President's List is awarded to students with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
In her speech, she spoke of the moment she watched Obama being ascended to the most powerful position in the world in her living room in Snow Hill, Portland, and how it inspire her to dream.
According Nicholson, she excelled academically while she was at Happy Grove High School and was subsequently awarded an academic scholarship to FMU.
Nicholson was last week selected by her university to attend the annual Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) White House Initiative. FMU is one of many HBCUs in the United States of America.
"When I finish school, I am going to law school to study banking law, then go into investment banking," Nicholson said.