teenFEATURE: Akeelia Richards - Writer and Future Lawyer

by CHARLENE BUCHANAN

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

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18 year old Akeelia Richards is knowledgeable, compassionate and polite. An ardent believer in the importance of protecting persons' dignity, this Ardennite combined her love of writing and her interest in children's rights to win third place in the Independent Jamaica Council for Human Rights' Youth Essay Competition.
On Wednesday, March 20, the winners received their prizes in a ceremony held at Jamaica College. One of our writers met Akeelia at the National Poetry Day festivities hosted last week at the Knutsford Court Hotel. We've since caught up with Akeelia to learn more about her and her writing.
Akeelia Richards is a sixth former at Ardenne High School, where she studies Law, Sociology, Literatures in English and Caribbean Studies. When asked about her career aspirations she will quickly tell you that she wishes to be an attorney, and she might bashfully slip in something about her having placed sixth regionally for Unit 1 CAPE Law.
In her spare time Akeelia enjoys writing poetry. She finds writing to be a good way to express herself, gain clarity, structure her thoughts and experience cathartic relief.
Because of her keen interest in the law, Akeelia developed a curiosity about human rights and the impact of human rights conventions on the lives of Jamaicans. This lead her to attend a rights symposium held at the Faculty of Law, UWI Mona, last December where she learned about the Independent Jamaica Council for Human Rights' Youth Essay Competition and decided to enter.
When asked about how she prepared her entry, Akeelia excitedly told us that she spent a lot of time doing research (which she enjoyed). Though she doesn't believe many Jamaicans are as well read on children's rights as they should be, she is hopeful that further research surrounding human rights in Jamaica, with a focus on children's rights, will stimulate conversation and ultimately improve conditions for all Jamaicans.
Congratulations and all the very best to Akeelia Richards!

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