Former student-athlete encouraged by support for college fund

By May 22, 2020

Nineteen-year-old Yashieka Fearon says she has been encouraged by the response to her appeal to raise funds that will help her cover her expenses while she attends college later this year.

The Manchester High School student, who managed a successful boys basketball team for the past few years, won a full scholarship to Howard University where she plans to pursue a Biology Pre-Med/ Pharmacy major.

However, while obtaining a full scholarship, the cost of other school-related expenses was proving to be prohibitive, hence the decision to raise funds that will allow her to achieve her academic goals.

 “Well, there is a Gofundme set up because I come from a single-income and parent family, and to cover the remaining costs is hard,” she tells Sportsmax.TV. “So, the goal is US$21,990. So far, we have raised $14,706 and it has been running for just about a week.”

In addition, at least one Jamaican super-star athlete has reached out but so far, but nothing has happened beyond the initial contact, she said.

However, while her target is still some way off, Yashieka said she is grateful for the positive response.

‘It has really motivated me to continue to excel so that someday I can help someone in need,” she said.

Excelling at life and school is familiar territory for Fearon, who had nine Grade 1 passes at CSEC and four Grade I's and a Grade II at the CAPE level.

Yashieka grew up in Mandeville and attended Manchester High School where she played basketball for a while on a team that was not very good. However, injury cut her high school career short. “I suffered an injury in 4th form when I was captain and was not able to play again. I have managed the boy’s basketball team since then,” she said of the job she held for four seasons.

Managing the more successful boys’ team was a job that she took seriously and excelled at, said Coach Damon Sullivan.

“Yasheika has been our team manager for the last four years. She has been wonderful, very much in charge. She has taken a lot of work off my hands so I can focus on coaching,” he said.

“She is in charge of organising trips, securing food for travel and home games, refreshments for visitors (as well as) drafting of permission slips for off-campus travel.”

She said she learned a lot being the manager of the team.

“I guess being a senior manager helped as a position of responsibility. It was a great experience. It taught me patience, having to deal with 24 boys regularly. It also gave me a family that supported me through whatever. It was an experience that moulded me into the strong person I am today,” she said.

Coach Sullivan also believes Yashieka to be best basketball statistician in central Jamaica and perhaps island-wide. She does not necessarily disagree.

“I don’t entirely know how I became the best, I just know that I was really good at it and so I just kept at it,” was how she explained it.

Attending Howard, she said, will be the next step in her development and as far as she is concerned it will be the right place to be.

“I am most looking forward to being constantly surrounded and motivated by black excellence,” she said.



Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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