Caribbean teen overcomes depression for academic achievement in Orlando
Kedrine Gayle graduated with honors, now attends USF
By Jerry Askin - Reporter
Posted: 5:30 AM, October 01, 2018 Updated: 5:30 AM, October 01, 2018
Kedrine Gayle, 18, moved to Orlando from Jamaica in 2016 and graduated Evans High School. She said the move was a fresh start for her and credits the school, mentors and community groups for her success.
ORLANDO, Fla. - Kedrine Gayle, 18, said she's living proof that despite their background and upbringing, people can achieve whatever they strive for with the right focus and determination.
Gayle wanted to share her story of how moving to the United States from Jamaica was a second chance for her after years of being what she called "fed up."
Gayle is an Evans High School graduate and now attends the University of South Florida majoring in nursing. She said her plan is to be a nurse practitioner with plans of tackling the health care system and its effects on the underrepresented populations of society. She wants to be focus on making health care more accessible for legal immigrants.
She told News 6 that before immigrating to the U.S. in 2016, she considered herself sad, angry and depressed. She said she thought there was no way out.
"My grades dropped subsequent (due) to the passing of loved ones," Gayle said. "Insecurities consumed my thoughts and the idea of suicide became more of a friend than a visitor."
Gayle said when she moved to the U.S., it was a new start for her and she quickly found her purpose of helping others realize what they were meant to do.
Evans High School set her up for greatness, Gayle said, and helped her see her full potential.
"I came out with straight A’s and was recognized on the principal’s honor roll as well as being the top student in many of my classes," Gayle said. "The students of Evans High School were exposed to many opportunities, opportunities that students in the Caribbean will probably never be recipients of."
In return, she helped her classmates see the full potential in themselves and encouraged them not to let their outside surroundings interfere with their destined greatness.
"I would simply present myself as the one person who would listen to the dreams that they would dare not tell a soul and in turn work with them to figure out ways in which they could make their dreams come true," Gayle said. "The students of Evans, unknowingly, would allow the many negative labels of the outer community to comfortably adhere to their outlook on life."
During her senior year at Evans High, Gayle became the Student Government Association vice president, president of Future Leaders United and member of the Pine Hills Community Council’s Youth Advisory Board.
Gayle said that she transformed her shyness and depression into to a passion for advocacy.
"I wanted to promote individualism and discovery of purpose, especially among the underrepresented individuals of Evans, all while preserving the true definition of school pride," said Gayle.
Gayle also said mentors played a huge role in encouraging youths to reach their full potential. She also credits the leadership and the mentors from the United Foundation of Central Florida with her success.
"There were times when I lost hope and negative thoughts tried to creep in but the United Foundation of Central Florida, along with their partners and sponsors stood as my advocate in making my dreams come true," Gayle said, adding, "The entire foundation became more of a family to me and with them I was able to truly fulfill purpose. I was able to accomplish many things in just two years, things that I would only dream of."
To read more about the United Foundation of Central Florida or to donate to the cause click here.
Copyright 2018 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.