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Diamonds In The Rough Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 17 October 2013 00:00

Roger Espejo and kids and Devon Tyrone Bowden doing homework under a street lampIt's 9:30p.m. in Cadle Alley where residents have shut down from the world - all is clear and all is quiet. A lone young man works from an old, cranky, wooden verandah and hovers over the steps as he scribbles away, buried in a school book and an exercise book - the only positive sign of life within this area. Positive because compared to the only other two souls around - one of them smoking a blunt and another rolling a joint close by - Devon Tyrone Bowden shines like a diamond. Pensively working at English Literature this late, in the heart of the ghetto, with no supervision, dangling off an old verandah, and impressively using the light from a public lamp to deliver on his home work, this young boy separates himself from most kids his age. UDP caretaker, Roger Espejo, visits with Devon's mother, Azarene Flowers and pledges support on his behalf and that of the Ministry of Education. Like many other deserving kids that have received an “education subsidy” from Mr. Espejo in Fort George this young star embodies the dedication required to succeed. "If half the kids in school would study with that tenacity, "Mr. Espejo tells his chairlady who accompanies him on this nocturnal mission, "the city would be a much different place."


“Roger”, as most Fort George residents are coming to know the young and vibrant city councillor, wraps up his patrol and his visit with another family for a resume building session - a night he won't soon forget but rather one that he'll remember for “Devon's discovery”. Roger believes in learning and knows all too well that “teaching to fish” is the secret to success especially in this part of the city. He's sharp to point out that Said Musa's style of “giving a fish” has become so massively unsustainable that he himself (Musa) has become the target of venomous attacks - attacks by his own party supporters for not maintaining the appetite that he created and fed for many years. And so it's surprising and unlikely that where a palpable, PUP-created poverty thrives, a diamond shines through this dark alley on this dark night.

Mr. Espejo points out that the Fort George constituency has many more vibrant kids like Devon and that they are as deserving as any other child from more affluent parts of the city. He confirms that his role as caretakers and potential standard bearer is to seek them out, to nurture them and to help them shine.