Karlene Weir of Palmers Cross in Clarendon says her life has been changed by the generosity of a 14-year-old.
In an interview with The Gleaner, the mother of three detailed the years of struggle to fend for her children. With her husband disabled, Weir said that her daughter Kephana’s tenure throughout primary school were the hardest years.
“It was rough. She couldn’t attend a primary school outside the area we were living because I couldn’t afford the bus fare.”
Weir lauded the staff at the Palmers Cross Primary and Junior High, Kephana’s alma mater, for assisting her daughter with lunch and stationery. “They gave her a little lunch and it carried her through,” she added.
Kephana, now 14, graduated primary school among the top students. Though elated, a feeling of trepidation lingered in the Weir household.
“I didn’t know how I was going to send her to Denbigh High. I didn’t know where the fare, lunch money or books were going to come from. I was praying that God send someone because I couldn’t send her to high school,” Weir explained.
The ‘sent one’ came in the person of 14-year-old Glenmuir High student, Anya Hayman. Since Kephana’s matriculation into high school in 2018, Anya has been assisting her with $2,500 weekly for school – money she took from her savings and the occasional help from her father’s business.
The teen shared that she came across Kephana’s story on social media and decided to help. “I was very moved by their story. I saw that she needed the help and I said I can provide that help for them. I know she’s a hard-working student who will excel and I know she only wants the push, so I am grateful for the opportunity to help,” the young philanthropist said.
Kaphana noted that she was surprised at meeting Anya, stating she thought her sponsor was an older person. “She really helps me out and I even save from it to help out around the house.” With tears streaming down her face, her mother revealed: “The help has been amazing. When we run out of the food in the house and don’t have dinner, it’s that money she use and buy grocery.”
Anya’s father, Fitzgerald Hayman, owner of Hayman’s Auto in May Pen, described her as a loving and kind person who is never reluctant to give a “lending or giving hand,” adding, “I count what she’s doing as a blessing from the Lord. They know how I try to help people because I saw my father do the same. I’m doing it and I’m glad she follows my footstep. She’s always willing to make the sacrifice and I will always back her up if needs be.”
Anya vowed to continue assisting Kephana for her remaining three years in high school.