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Michelle, a woman on a mission

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Michelle Alexis Thomas, attorney-at-law, motivational speaker and cultural ambassador. Michelle is a hands-on and inspiring young woman who is committed to community and nation development. “I’m highly involved in character building and community activities, people motivates me,” she affirms. I have been fortunate to have met and work with Michelle at Cave Hill. One of the trademark smile and undeniable Jamaica accent that compliment her down to earth personality.

Michelle Describes herself as being Very analytical and passionate about legal issues. She attribute these qualities as well as the fact that she thinks well on her feet as the main reasons for being a lawyer. She further added that in every facet of society there is the need for a lawyer to give some form of advice and they help to shape society. She also sees Paula Lewelleyn as a role. “She is the first female director of public prosecution. Being a director in a field dominated by men, everybody feels that that is not a woman’s place but she has defied the odds. I want to be a criminal prosecutor and I want to go to the highest level, I want to be like a Paula Lewelleyn. She is multifaceted being able to manage being a mother, being a mentor and still the director of public prosecution, I think that is remarkable,” she affirmed.

The 24-year-old admits to having a very supportive family setting which includes three sisters and a brother. The Christian faith is also a central part of her family life and philosophy, “We have Christian values and principles, Jesus came down to save us from our sins,” she explained. She went to say that “I believe that we are called for a greater purpose which is to bring others to Christ and spread the gospel”.

The Jamaican is a pass student of St Andrew High School for Girls, the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill and Norman Manley Law School. She was very active in high school. “I AM who I am today because of St Andrew High School for Girls,” she noted. She also served on the Students’ Guild at Cave Hill and as the vice-president for the students’ association at Norman Manley Law School. “The Barbados experience stand out as one of the best experience as a young girl, the culture, friends and networking opportunities; in addition, living on my own forced me to be more mature and responsible,” she stated.

Her rise as a public figure was accelerated through her mandate and projects implemented as Miss Kingston and St Andrew Festival Queen 2015-2016. Some projects she has been involved with include: #Toursbjcm, which she launched as festival queen which sought to expose 60 students to the Blue and John Crow Mountains, and Heritage Ambassador Project (HAP) a project to have heritage ambassadors in all school to increase cultural awareness. She is also the special projects coordinator at EducaTours Jamaica. This is an excursion company that exposes students to the tangible and intangible aspects of Jamaican culture via educational tours. “I also mentor students at the Denham Town High School in Kingston through a United Kingdom programme called Debate Mate. Students learn through this initiative to argue in a logical manner in conflict resolution, instead of using their skills to tear down each other’s,” she added. In the coming weeks she will be traveling to the Middle East (Azerbaijan) as a representative of Jamaica at a youth forum and to Ghana as a motivational speaker.

Currently, Michelle is in the process of starting a virtual law firm and endeavours to invest heavily in global marketing without breaching the canons on advertising. She also affirms her interest in politics; however, she is looking for the perfect time and opportunity to go on the platform and represent people. “Whenever God want me to go in he will create that avenue, so am not pushing it but rather waiting for it to find me,” she stated.

Her views on Caricom
I envision unity as it relates to Caribbean states, especially in the issue on the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) being the final appellate court. A part of Caribbean integration is integration in terms of policies, law decision and treaties. There has been much debate in Jamaica as to whether or not to accept the CCJ. It breaks my heart, we are Caribbean people I don’t think there should be any opposition in celebrating and embracing something that is genuinely Caribbean and of Caribbean minds and will be administered and monitored by Caribbean people. So one of my greatest wish for Caricom is that all states will understand that we are a part of the Caribbean and therefore we must unite as regional instruments in order to grow and develop this region. One way to start is through our legal court and the policies that are implemented in each individual country.

From Michelle to the youths out there
You can be anything you want once you have the tenacity to chase after your dreams, patience and a strategic plan to reach your goals. Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality. Take the calculated risk to dream and succeed. It is your heritage to stand direct, proud and unafraid to stand up to world and say this is what you have done. Accept your conditions as is or take responsibility to change them. Successful people look around and if they cannot find the circumstances they want then they create them.

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