Twenty-two-year-old Abigail’s story starts very close to home – Spanish Town, St. Catherine – the elder to her brother and the darling to her parents, Abigail has always been a curious and adventurous person. As a child, she recounts in her interview that she had varying interests to which she devoted her time. This curiosity eventually led her to Wolmer’s High School for Girls where she pursued a keen interest in both Computer Science and Mathematics in her sixth form studies. This naturally led her to develop her skills and piqued her interest enough to pursue a double major in both subjects at the University of the West Indies, Mona in Kingston. After her first year there, she made the spontaneous yet daring decision to switch to a Bachelor’s degree programme in Software Engineering with a specialty in Mobile Applications! She got on well and is expected to complete her studies sometime this Fall.

As someone who is both passionate about expanding her horizons and serving mankind, Abigail has a wide variety of hobbies outside of her studies. These include: swimming, hiking, going to the gym, river and beach explorations as well as other outdoor activities with more daring hikes such as the Blue Mountain hike on her bucket list. Outside of her hobbies, Abigail also dabbles in various personal coding projects and has a vast knowledge of various programming language but prefers good old Java as her preferred choice when coding.

Abigail, being the gutsy and determined young lady she is, is a well-versed advocate for various social issues with her most concerning being Jamaica’s current economic crisis, the rise of inflation and living costs as well as the devaluation of the dollar. In her interview, Abigail made it a point to mention how this affects young people and actively participates in campaigning for youth development programmes at her local church in hopes to better Jamaica’s future.

“A lot of them have moved away from my area but there are some still here and so I want to help them in anyway I can” said Abigail when asked further about these programmes. When asked about her thoughts on how this migration of youths relate to the ‘brain drain’ problem in Jamaica, she explained that while it is somewhat of an issue, she finds and hopes that most persons migrate for better educational opportunities and that they will eventually return to aid in building up Jamaica’s economy.

She also spoke at length about her concerns relating to the inefficiency of the healthcare sector in Jamaica and believes there is room for improvement. Her strong need to care for others also acts as a light to her own family as she recounts in her interview that she spends most of her summers working with her parents(both business owners) and that one of her life goals is to allow them to retire early so they can spend their elderly years enjoying their lives instead of working so hard.

“In the next 10 years, I want to start thinking about having my own family and being able to allow my parents to retire early” said Abigail. When asked further about this, she also wishes to aid her father in fulfilling his dream of opening his very own Gas and Petroleum company one day. In a bid to express her concerns over climate change, she also made mention of the possibility of opening a clean energy company to aid in the world’s efforts to mitigate climate change.

“Climate change affects us all and we all should care about its effects” said Abigail when asked to expand on this further.

In an effort to come out of her comfort zone and help her mother with her small business, Abigail joined Live Well Jamaica in June of 2021 to expand her knowledge on social media management and she hopes to come out of the programme with new found skills and a new way to express herself through blogging. Her want to experience life outside of her comfort zone is inherited from her father, who acts as both an inspiration and advisor to her. She spoke at length of how useful and thoughtful his pieces of advice are to her.

She also cites being able to have knowledge of various fields in the tech industry as another reason for why she chose to pursue this internship programme and hopes to learn various skills that will be useful to her in her future endeavours in tech. She doesn’t plan to work in tech forever though as another dream of hers is to start her own business or take over her mother’s business when the time comes.

The interview then took a turn when I questioned Ms. Simpson about some of the more private moments in her life, an inquiry into the best and worst moments of her life was posited where she recounted her struggles during the pandemic as well as some better moments in her life. She explained that the pandemic hitting Jamaica initially took a toll on her mental health and that she experienced mild anxiety because of the uncertainty of the situation. She shared that she’s doing much better presently and has learned that the best thing to do is to take life one day at a time with as little regret as possible. This philosophy is what rose her spirits and greatly improved her mental health around the situation. She also shared some of the happier times she had in her life citing her days in sixth form hanging out with her friends, as one such moment. She explains that it seemed like less responsibility then and that school, although her focus, was not at the forefront of her mind (#Genius).

So, what can I say? There’s absolutely nothing Abigail can’t do and her efforts to hone her strengths and improve her “not-so-strengths” are a testament to her determination to be her best self. In a heartfelt moment, Abigail revealed one of her biggest hurdles has always been time management but one of her ongoing methods to combat this was to create a to-do list for each day of events and activities to be done that day. She explains her time management and organizational skills are steadily improving by this simple habit and for that, I give her kudos. This ties in perfectly with her core strength of always trying her best in everything she puts her mind to and it’s something she’s well renowned for. A true light to those around her, Abigail continues to make strides for not only herself but for everyone and everything she touches. Catch a photo of her below!