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Believe everything is possible, 'Sasco' tells kids

Career & Education writer

Sunday, September 15, 2019

BEFORE the successes he has been reaping as a recording artiste, “Agent Sasco” struggled with fear and self-doubt.
“[When I was in primary school] I believed everything was possible, and so I used to dream a lot. But when I started high school I developed the wrong habits — the habits of fear and doubt — and they started to pile onto me,” he revealed.
“I wish I could tell my 10-year-old self to continue believing that everything is possible, because indeed it is, but it starts here. You must live a life that gives you something to 'wow' about,” he added.
The artiste, whose given name is Jeffrey Campbell, was addressing the JN Foundation's Primary Exit Profile (PEP) scholarship awardees under the theme 'Live in the Wow' at the bank's Half-Way-Tree location a week ago.
He urged them to think positively and not to give way to self-fulfilling prophesies which could prevent them from “living in the wow.” He also cautioned them about trying to achieve other people's definitions of  success.
“Everything is possible if you choose to believe,” he told them. “It works the other way too — if you start to think you can't and things can't happen, you start to do things along that way. Success is yours to have once you think of it and once you know it; and when you know it there is empowerment in that because you are responsible for your success.”
The entertainer, who previously went by the name “Assassin”, attended Camperdown High School and furthered his education in business management at the University of Sunderland in the United Kingdom.
He is highly regarded for his conscious lyrics, which feature in songs such as: Winning Right Now, Stronger, Mama Prayed and Fade Away — a collaboration with Romaine Virgo; as well as The Blacker The Berry — a collaboration with 13-time Grammy-winning American rapper Kendrick Lamar.
“Sasco” is an ambassador for the Jamaica National Group.
Also speaking at the awards function last week was Karen Oliver, Jamaica National Group's communications specialist, who advised the awardees how to grow wealth.
“The fundamental principle to develop wealth is to make saving an ongoing habit. Those who develop the habit of saving as children tend to become more responsible with money as adults. Three ways you can develop a savings habit are: set a goal, separate spending money from savings money, and avoid compulsive buying,” she said.
Lori-Ann Watt, a JN scholarship recipient for the past five years, had advice of a different kind for the students, who are just starting high school.
“You have not arrived,” she told them. “Don't stop working just because you have reached high school; only the strong will survive. If you have not developed the ability to speak up and out, high school will be a challenge. I started out really shy, but high school developed my backbone and my voice. Practicse the habit of making decisions before being confronted.”  
Each year, JN awards five-year scholarships to outstanding performers in the goverment's high school placement exams. The awards are usually shared among one student per parish, three participants in the JN School Savers' Programme, and children of employees of the Jamaica National Group. This year there were 37 awards.
“This scholarship will allow us to provide our son with all the resources he will need to do well in school,” Rekha Vollapo, parent of an awardee, told the Jamaica Observer. “It will also encourage him to keep doing well in school, because he has to maintain a certain average each year to keep the scholarship.”   
Another parent, Glenford Thompson, said his child has always performed well in school, but disclosed that as a result of   not having a permanent job, he has not always been able to provide everything that he needs for school.
“The scholarship has filled in where I would have left off. [Now] my child has everything he needs. It really makes me happy to think of how much better he will be able to function in school with all his supplies,” he said.