Anisa Wilson

“Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life” - Confucius.
This is one of Ms. Wilson’s favourite quotes and that is just what she did. After leaving Sam Sharpe Teachers’ training College, she taught English and Literature at the Oracabessa High School where she became known as the ‘soft teacher’ because of her Guidance & Counseling methods used to ensure discipline. There she spent two years before accepting a “temporary” post as a Youth Empowerment Officer with the National Centre for Youth Development.
“Many of my colleagues chided me for this decision as they could not comprehend how I could leave a permanent post for a temporary one!” but her passion and concern for youth in Jamaica led her to dive right into the task. Her first move was to take a multi-sectoral approach to youth development. “I, along with the other Youth Empowerment Officer – Gavin Myers, organized multi-sectoral meetings with other  youth serving agencies such as National Youth Service, Jamaica Foundation for Life Long Learning and HEART Trust NTA. Very soon, our group was invited to join another group with the same aim and we became known as SAINTSS (St Ann Interagency for the transformation of the Social Services).” 

Her Inspiration:

The unconditional love of our Creator inspires me each day. As a result, I am inspired everyday to give selflessly to others.

“1 John 4:8 – “God is love.” 

Today she is permanently attached to the NCYD and has broadened her scope to include the  title of author, starting with writing for a local newspaper on Career Development to publishing a series of books known as the Students Success Series that focus on building children’s life skills. In addition, she produced Guidance and Counseling workbooks for Grades 1 through 12. “I realize that I have more reach through writing and so I will continue to write and conduct workshops. I strongly believe in educating others.”
In November 2007, she was Jamaica’s representative at the Caricom Youth Meeting in Entebbe, Uganda where she served as the rapporteur for the group that looked at Adolescent Health and in 2011, she received a special award for youth development in St. Ann from the Northgate Youth and Family Development Foundation - an NGO which operates in Jamaica and has links to Trinidad and Tobago.
Ms. Wilson also received one month of specialized training in Israel at the MASHAV Training Centre in dealing with “Youth at Risk” in 2012. She noted, “The experience was awesome. I learnt so many things and am looking forward to implementing what I have learnt. They don’t give up on their young people, they find all sorts of ways to get them empowered.”
She noted the high expectations and goals set for young people by the Israeli government and the youth in turn are aware of those expectations and strive to attain the standard. She feels this should be emulated in our region where we should expect more from our youth.
“Youth have so many needs and all the social agencies need to collaborate more to deal with youth issues”
In terms of CYP’s role in the region, Ms. Wilson opined that it develops leadership skills for youth but she would like to see a broadening of the safety net. “To me it targets a certain set of young people – the educated, but I want to see it more connected to the grassroots. In Jamaica, it is thought to target the elite. I would want to see that barrier broken down.”
She would also like to see youth programmes in general be more facilitative, so everybody can have the opportunity. She feels that certain requirements bar young people from development opportunities if they do not meet certain qualifications, especially those without CXC’s.From being inspired by famous quotes, Anisa’s own words may one day inspire others to work with passion - “We cannot give up on one single young person. It has to be a direct effort to capture All persons have talents. As youth workers, as policy makers we have to find ways to capture them.”
Message to young people: 
"You were created to accomplish a unique purpose in life. You are talented beyond measure. Your strengths outweigh your weaknesses. Know yourself and what you are worth.
Steps to succeed:
1. Know who you are; your strengths, talents, abilities etc.
2. Set your goals
3. Have a plan to reach your goals
4. Execute your plans
5. Evaluate to test level of success
6. Most importantly, think positively, have an optimistic outlook on life and KNOW that you will succeed."