AT 24 YEARS OLD Sherona Forrester has already broken several barriers and raised the bar.
She is an acclaimed academic, a multi-talented athlete, a consummate performer of the arts and the 2016 recipient of the prestigious Rhodes scholarship. She will take up her scholarship at the University of Oxford in October this year.
Forrester recently graduated with distinction, from The UWI, Mona with a Master of Science Degree in Economics. Prior to that, she pursued a double major in Economics and Statistics, where she was awarded a First-Class Honours Undergraduate Degree in 2013.
Forrester, a resident advisor on the AZ Preston Hall and an adjunct lecturer at The UWI, told UWIMONA Now that her childhood love for sports was nurtured at the Mona Campus where she participated in various sporting activities including football, netball and basketball. Always the leader, she captained the netball team and co-captained the basketball team. It was no surprise, therefore, when in 2013, at the end of the first year of her Gore Development-funded Master’s programme, she was called to play for Jamaica’s National Senior football team.
“Being a part of the national team was an amazing experience,” she recalled. While on tour for their World Cup bid, Forrester recalled the daily devotions, gatherings, and competitions that took place. She enjoyed the camaraderie and it gave her a chance to entertain the group through her artistic performances. She also expressed her appreciation for the opportunities afforded her to impact the lives of younger people through visits to the Under-17 girls’ national football team and a rural primary school in St Ann.
A member of the New Testament Church of God, Forrester has been singing on choirs since childhood. Not only did she sing in church, but also at various events throughout her years at Mineral Heights Primary School. Upon entering her second year of high school, she became a part of the Glenmuir High School Concert Choir, where she sang classical music. While in sixth form, she was called to be a part of the Jamaica Youth Chorale (JYC) where she continues to hone her vocal skills. She also expanded her repertoire through learning to sing all genres of music, as well as developing her skill for dancing. Forrester said the JYC also provided her with the opportunity to travel extensively, allowing her to impact people through her powerful performances.
Forrester’s ultimate goal is to become a philanthropist, helping people in need and creating change in the lives of others, especially young girls in sports, “I really believe in just giving. I tell people all the time, if there is no heaven or hell, what is wrong with just being kind and loving, what is wrong with just living amicably with people?”
Having been a baptized Christian from the age of 11, Forrester is resolute in her faith, “You have to believe in something. I believe that the lessons you learn through Christianity and religion about giving and how receiving will be reciprocated is so true. I have lived a life of giving and I am just always receiving…God has a way of blessing me and I think I have been faithful to Him and He in turn gives back his favour,” she said.
Forrester… will take up her scholarship at the University of Oxford in October
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