Palms for Pine: Jamaican body tech crowdfunding tuition for Cambrian welding program

Trelawny, Jamaica — Chasing a dream can take you places you never thought you’d end up; one young auto body tech and painter from Jamaica likely knows that feeling well as Shonalee Johnson calls for public support to help make her way to school in Sudbury, Ont.

She told the Jamaica Star that auto body repair is her god-given gift; a gift that has earned her acceptance to Cambrian College’s welding and fabrication program.

However, like many people seeking to study abroad, the cost has proven to be a barrier.

That is why Johnson has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help get her over the financial hurdles and into a bright future as a certified automotive welder.

“Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity and I believe, for me, this is the opportunity that will make me stop existing and start living, as well as to expand my craft and put me in a better position to give back to my country on a greater level in the future.

“I’ll be qualified internationally, which will make me more marketable and allow me to go further with my skill. I want to one day own my garage and maybe be the first woman in Jamaica to be at the level that I will be,” Johnson said.

Johnson’s first milestone—a March 1 deadline for a $6,970 (USD) deposit that she says will reserve her seat in the program and start her study permit application.

Regarding her decision to uproot herself for the sake of her education, Johnson said “being a late bloomer as I would call it, life has taught me that, once an opportunity comes along, take it. Don’t procrastinate, don’t waste time. Take it.”

Shonalee Johnson’s GoFundMe campaign can be found here.


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