“I enjoy making that connection when the child sees the light, when they get it.” Beauty and brains can and do go together. Just ask Dr. Allison Barnett-Cross, Executive Director of the Jamaica Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL). The JFLL trains you by teaching you to read and teaching you work skills that allow you to become an income-earner. In 1985, Allison Barnett was crowned Miss Jamaica World and placed fifth (5th ) in the World Pageant.
It is said that the children of teachers are always bright. In the case of Allison, this was indeed true. She went to Knox Community College in Manchester and Campion College in Kingston and then to the University of the West Indies. Long ago she had made up her mind to be a teacher like her father, but she wanted to teach students who found it hard to learn. So, after university, it was off to Mico Teachers’ College in Kingston for a Diploma in Special Education, where after she studies, she worked for a while. However, she wanted to be the very best she could be, so off she went to university again to specialize in special education. She returned with a doctorate (PhD), the highest academic qualification.
Dr. Barnett-Cross’ entire professional career is based on her childhood experiences in the class room. She felt she did not achieve her full potential, so she decided to ensure that future students would, especially those with learning disabilities.
She has continued her invaluable work at JFLL where she conducts workshops for special education teachers – We have to laud our teachers who are doing amazing things.” Dr. Allison-Cross is also doing amazing things for children and adults in special education.
Dedicated: To be devoted to what you set out to do.
Photo – US Embassy Jamaica