“It feel like somebody did give me one hard punch inna mi gut,” that’s how Charlene Chambers said she remembered feeling on the day she was told she was HIV positive. Charlene, who has been living with HIV for over 13 years and receives treatment at Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL), is one of the success stories which shows that one’s positive HIV status doesn’t have to define them. It had always been her dream to be an entrepreneur and in 2018, JASL partnered with the European Union (EU) to help Charlene achieve her lifelong dream of opening and owning her own shop. However, the road to get there would be one filled with hardships and disappointments.
When Najah Aziz nodded off during an annual job performance review, she knew she had to make a move. She wanted out of the insurance business and into the hair salon, feeding a passion she developed as a child styling her six sisters’ hair.
Nikki Giovanni is 74 now, a generation removed from the height of her poetic power. But she remains fiery and talented and has a lot on her mind.
Looking out into the darkness beyond the windshield of her mother’s car, where Chelesa Fearce and her mother were spending the night, her dreams of Yale Medical School seemed impossible.