Kasey Williams is a 19 years old Mass Communication student at the Northern Caribbean University, who has a passion for media, especially journalism. Born in Mandeville, Kasey grew up in Clarendon and later moved to Portland, where he discovered his self-identity. He is enthusiastic, determined and helpful, and is always greeting everyone with a smile. Unknown to many though, he is a young man burdened with a horrific memory.
Loss of His Parents
On a Thursday, April 5, 2005, in Goshen Clarendon, Kasey’s father was taking his mother, his sister, and Kasey to school. His parents were both teachers at the school he and his sister attended; this was their normal routine. As they reached a section of the road called Four Paths, heading towards Denbigh, a Toyota Corolla was overtaking traffic from the opposite direction and lost control of the vehicle. Upon spotting the car, Kasey’s father tried to escape but it was too late. Tragedy struck. The taxi collided head on with their vehicle. Both his mother and sister died on the spot. Kasey and his father were both rushed to the May Pen Hospital, “They placed my father beside me, and all I could recognize were his eyes, everywhere else was blood.”
Unfortunately, the long battle ended as Kasey’s father lost his life on April 19, 2005 at the Kingston University Hospital. “That day changed my life because I lost my entire family, and I was the only one who survived. Some people say it was a miracle. But why should question God? He allowed it that way; they are gone, and I cannot get them back.”
After the death of his family, Kasey moved in with some of his relatives in Clarendon and later relocated to Portland to live with his grandparents.
“I attest my success to my grandparents; they are the backbone of such. I must express gratitude to them because if it was not for them, I probably would not have been here today.”
Each year on the fifth of April, Kasey relives the horrific memory. It is always a tearful experience for him as he deeply reflects on the past incident. On this day of mourning, however, Kasey is always comforted by his family members especially his grandmother. For Kasey, the pain of the memories will only heal through time.
Not only did his grandmother play an integral role in raising him but she also financed his education. “She basically had to start me all over again, as though I was a baby,” Kasey stated.
Kasey attended the Drapers All Age School and then moved on to the Titchfield High School, where he spent six years of his life. He completed the sciences up to the sixth form but started to develop a love for Journalism, after being the school’s photographer and reporter for four years. After the twelfth grade, he decided to take a break from school for a year, “I needed that year so that I could dig deeper into journalism; I wanted to go on that mission.”
He made great use of that year and started to gain experience in the media world. He started a news house called The Portlanders, which to date has 25,000 social media followers. He was further motivated when he was introduced to Franklyn McKnight who is the editor in chief of the North Coast Times Newspaper (a Jamaican newspaper), and past Head of News at Irie FM.
Kasey started to submit articles to Mr. McKnight, who would edit and return them to him. Within three months, he started to write publishable stories and subsequently had his own column in the North Coast Times. He wrote so many stories to the extent that they exceeded the amount needed for Mr. McKnight’s weekly newspaper. As a result, Kasey started submitting news to Irie FM. He then began working with Irie FM and became the Portland news correspondent for the radio station.
His love and experience in media led him to apply to the Northern Caribbean University in efforts of obtaining a degree in Mass Communication. “I had to apply to NCU because when I looked at the Media programme they had there, I realized that it was unique. That stellar media programme is not offered anywhere else in Jamaica, and in the Caribbean. I had to go to NCU!”
Life in Mandeville/ Northern Caribbean University
Kasey started NCU in August 2016, under the Department of Communication Studies (DCS). Within a month of moving to Mandeville, his editor in chief asked him to begin covering news stories in the parish. Since then he has broken several news stories in the area, and he is now the Manchester and Portland news correspondent for Irie FM. Through networking, Kasey has a foothold in his beloved parish of Portland, and still covers the parish very well. He has also made friendly connections with other news houses such as TVJ, CVM, The Gleaner, and The Jamaica Observer.
“I am somebody that strives to be nothing but the best,” he says.
This strive for nothing but the best has led him to achieve a G.P.A of 3.82 at the end of his first semester. Additionally, he was the only first-year male to be enlisted on the prestigious Gold Scholar list for his department. However, that was not the only surprise for Kasey, as soon after he found out that he was the Top Male Gold Scholar for the Department of Communication Studies. “I was humbled, and I wanted to strive for even more excellence and greatness,” Kasey commented.
A Path to Greatness
Kasey has attaches his successes to God, his family members; especially his grandparents and grand-aunt, and his strong willed personality. “God has never left me at any point in time, and He is always beside me. For me, if I have something to do, I get it done. I don’t complain, and I always find a way to get my work done,” he commented.
He is very pleased by his impact on society, especially in journalism, and he looks forward to making, even more, waves in the media world. “I love media; there is nothing else that I want to do in life. I prefer to be happy doing media than to be miserable doing any other thing.”
Media, Kasey’s love and passion, helps him to overcome the tragedy he has faced. Now, he is doing what he loves and it has been rewarding to him. The memories of his family have become a fuel in his path to greatness.