By: Deandre Williamson


September 27, 2008


Deandra tells her story of how assistance from our very own East Nassau Foundation changed her life.


Won't you consider supporting it? See PP Clifford Culmer or PP Everod Peart for details.

With a dream of transforming media in The Bahamas, I've always had the desire to become a famous journalist. Upon completing my first degree I felt that it was not enough to make my dream a reality.  I knew I had to further my education, which meant leaving my loved ones and home behind in pursuit of a goal I would never regret. 


When someone wants to accomplish something in life one must possess desire and determination.  In some situations one must not only have the desire and determination but also the finances to cover the cost of what should be accomplished.


For me, I had the desire to further my education but the finances were not there.  I asked myself, "What I am going to do?"  During this time in my life it would have been impossible for my parents to fund my education.  Constant prayer was all I did with the faith that one day I would be able travel off to school.  


Knowing that I would be unable to pay my tuition out of my pocket, I applied to GeorgiaStateUniversity in October 2006.  The university replied to my application later that year and advised me as to what steps should be taken to complete the application procedures.


In May 2007 I graduated from the College of The Bahamas with an Associate Degree in Journalism and Communication with Distinction and by this time I was close to being officially accepted into GeorgiaStateUniversity for Fall 2007.  Prior to graduation I applied for scholarships but because my acceptance letter was not ready I was unable to receive a scholarship which created a setback in my academic life. I really wanted to go off to school for the Fall 2007 semester. 


As a part of my Associate Degree requirement an internship had to be done.  I interned at Jones Communications where I wrote articles for The Bahama Journal and occasionally wrote scripts for Love 97 FM news broadcasts.  After graduation I stayed with the company for several months to continue as a summer student because I enjoyed the internship at the company. 


While at Jones Communications I received my official acceptance letter from GeorgiaStateUniversity.  I was so happy, but who was going to give me a scholarship in the middle of July?


Things went from bad to worse and unfortunately the relationship between the editor and I became bittersweet and as a result I decided to leave the company.  Some people thought I made the wrong decision.  I was a recent college graduate, jobless, and with no visible hopes of a further education.  Many said, "You should have stayed on the job until you see the way clear with the finances to go off to school." 


I considered what people said about my decision however I knew my prayers were soon to be answered.


One day I was on the Internet searching for scholarships for Bahamian students and a thought came to mind, which caused me to search for Rotary Clubs in The Bahamas.  Well, I stumbled across the Rotary Club of East Nassau and I decided to email someone there about scholarships for Bahamian students.  I stated my situation in the email and within a matter of days I got a response from a Rotary Official Richard Pyfrom who forwarded my email to another Rotary Official Everod Peart.  These Rotarians were so efficient and effective with their responses therefore I knew they would help with my tuition.


Time was moving quickly, it was mid August and classes for Fall 2007 at GeorgiaState was soon to begin.  I had no final word as to the amount of funds the Rotary Club would help with but I still had hopes that I would get enough money to be able to go off to school.


Classes began August 20th 2007 and I was still in Nassau.  I needed roughly $10,000 for tuition.  Finally, the Rotary Club gave me a response and agreed to give me a scholarship for $5,000.  I appreciated the donation but I still needed another $5,000.


Unexpectedly, my uncle Kendall Jones, CEO of Quantum Technologies, and also a Rotarian, saw my desire to further my education and the night before I left for Georgia, wrote me a check for $5,000.  After he gave me the check he said, "Go home and pack your bag and be on the flight for Georgia in the morning."  Sadly, Uncle Kendall died earlier this year but I appreciate what he's done for me. 


I arrived in Georgia August 22nd 2007 and started classes on the 24th.  Obviously, I missed almost a whole week of classes but that was no problem, I made it.  Life away from home presented its challenges but I can handle it because life is not easy.  Since I've been attending school in Atlanta the transition went really well and I'm excelling academically and I'm on the Dean's List. 


For the direction I'm heading Bahamians should not be surprised to one day see me as a reporter on CNN, Fox or writing for the Atlanta Journal Constitution.  Wherever life takes me I would do my very best to represent myself, and my country.  With God all things are possible.  I thank him, the Rotary Club of East Nassau and the government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas for helping me to achieve my dream.