New Fortress Energy celebrates its 2020 community heroes

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New Fortress Energy celebrates its 2020 community heroes

Saturday, January 09, 2021

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WHEN Montego Bay's celebrated online mathematics tutor, Richard James, along with Evon Bartley, a teacher from Old Harbour Bay, Elder Carolyn Phillips from Hayes and three other individuals were summoned to meetings in their respective parishes, they had no idea that they would be honoured and rewarded for their spirit of kindness in their communities, especially in a year that proved challenging for everyone.

What made the surprise even more heartfelt for them was the fact that this recognition was based on feedback from their very own peers in their communities.

In early December LNG provider New Fortress Energy (NFE) launched the second staging of its annual Community Heroes initiative, which invites persons to nominate individuals in their respective communities who embody selflessness, kindness and the spirit of volunteerism. One month and countless nominations later, six individuals were identified — two winners each from the parishes of Clarendon, St James and St Catherine, where New Fortress Energy operates its LNG plants.

Speaking on what inspired this philanthropic initiative of recognising community members for being model citizens, vice-president at New Fortress Energy, Verona Carter said: “Even before we started constructing our LNG plants in these communities we became very involved and connected with the community members, and we were inspired by the indomitable spirit kindness and selflessness of many of these individuals that continue to uplift the lives of those who are most vulnerable around them.

“Our Community Heroes initiative is, therefore, our way of encouraging individuals to continue to do good for the betterment of their community. One act of kindness deserves another, and we're delighted to recognise and reward these exemplary individuals that continue to give of themselves to make others and their communities shine brighter,” Carter added.

Brettina Lloyd, a law student from Old Harbour Bay, St Catherine, lost her mother at the age of 16 but continued to excel and motivate her peers to keep pushing towards their goals. She's planning to pay it forward by using her vouchers to purchase tablets for students in her community and a washing machine for her father. “I'm very grateful for this. It has not been easy, but I'm remaining focused on my goals. I also want to see others around me succeed, so I'm always encouraging other young people in my community and church to not allow their current circumstances to define their future.”

Evon Bartley is a teacher, also from Old Harbour Bay, who sacrifices and goes to great lengths to provide educational support to both adults and children in her community. From the Port and Refinery Council communities in Hayes, Clarendon, are Marva Morgan, a part-time vector aide who uses her own resources to prepare warm meals for the elderly and needy, and Elder Carolyn Phillips who takes the mentally ill and elderly to their medical appointments and runs errands for them.

From the parish of Montego Bay, St James, the recipients are Robert Hines, a barber from Flanker and leader of the Dynamic Men in Action group that mentors unskilled and unattached youth. Richard James, online mathematics tutor, is also from St. James and is well-known for offering mathematics resources online for free to hundreds of students in Jamaica and across the Caribbean. During the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when schools were forced to close, via his YouTube channel James hosted free, live online mathematics sessions that reached hundreds of students in Jamaica and across the Caribbean who were preparing for the CSEC exams.

“The Richard James online mathematics resource was envisioned in 1996 when I realised that, with the prevailing conditions, students throughout the Caribbean will need mathematics resources to be competitive and be fully armed to win their future. I'm very proud of New Fortress Energy who takes the time to understand the needs of the most vulnerable and recognise individuals who are fostering community development and nation building. I also thank NFE for funding the Internet connectivity for my online math sessions during the crisis to make it possible to so many students to get the help they needed in preparing for their exams,” said James.

In addition to a recognition plaque, each Community Hero was awarded with home improvement vouchers valued at 150,000, to shop at any Courts store islandwide.


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