Man juggles work and school at Marcus Garvey Technical
From a very humble upbringing, Kasheif Davis saw the army as a kind of refuge - the sort of place where he could find peace and tranquillity as he prepared for adulthood.
Unfortunately, it was not to be, as the teenager failed the entrance exam.
"My mother was a single parent with three of us, and I just wanted to do something that would make her proud. I took it real hard when I failed the entrance exam and wasn't sure as to where to turn or what my next move would be," Kasheif said.
The youngster decided that a change of scenery might be beneficial, and so with encouragement from his supportive mother, Kasheif packed his belongings and headed to St Ann to move in with his father.
"It wasn't the most ideal of situations, but I needed a fresh start. St Thomas was clearly not working out and I needed to do something meaningful with my life," he stated.
Possibility of doing both
The youngster got a job in Runaway Bay, St Ann, at a fruit-processing store, earning some much-needed funds, which enabled him to meet his basic needs.
However, Kasheif, who last attended the St Thomas Technical High School, wasn't satisfied, and felt that he needed to go back to school while he worked, and so approached his employer about the possibility of doing both.
His employer, however, was not supportive of his decision, as the job required someone who could be there on a full-time basis. Undeterred, Kasheif heard of a job opening at the Marcus Garvey Technical High School.
"The opening was in the maintenance department, and so I approached the principal and asked about the possibility of working while attending Marcus Garvey at the same time," he recalled.
"Not only did she say yes, but I will never forget how she took the time out ... right there in her office ... to assist me in putting together my resume. It was the perfect outcome to a very long journey and I felt that my luck was about to change," he added.
Kasheif's work ethic, temperament, overall attitude and will to succeed have captured the minds and hearts of almost the entire Marcus Garvey fraternity.
"From the day he walked into my office nearly two years ago, he has been nothing but a source of pride and an inspiration to many. It can't be easy doing what he is doing. He is working to provide for himself while attending classes here at Marcus Garvey to achieve an associate degree in hospitality management," Anniona Jones, principal of the school, told JIS News.
The school's Dean of Students, Donnet Reid, said Kasheif is on the compound by 6 a.m., and he juggles work and classes throughout the day.
"He is a proud member of the auxiliary staff and a true ambassador here at Marcus Garvey," Reid stated. Kasheif remains optimistic about the future and has not given up on a career in the army.