Dishonna, TEAM programme
‘I now own two online businesses. I bake cinnamon rolls and I also sell cosmetic stuff on Instagram. The Prince’s Trust programme inspired me to become my own boss.’
21-year-old Dishonna is a trainee nurse in Barbados. While she studies, Dishonna is financially supporting herself and her one-year-old daughter with her two online businesses. Balancing work, study and motherhood makes for a busy life, but Dishonna wouldn’t have it any other way.
A year ago, things were very different. Unemployed and with a new baby to provide for, Dishonna found that her lack of qualifications or work experience made it impossible to find a job. But, for her daughter’s sake, she was determined not to give up.
Motivated by motherhood
‘My daughter gave me the inspiration to be a better person, to go for my dreams so that I could lead by example for her,’ Dishonna explains. In 2021, she signed up for the Team programme, an intensive pre-employment training course developed by Prince’s Trust International, and delivered by the Barbados Police Force.
The 12-week full-time programme aims to help young people gain experience and develop skills that will enable them to thrive in the world of work, and supports them to consider and plan their next steps. It focuses on active, hands-on learning, and Dishonna particularly remembers the group hike and the water jump – when her group went out with the coastguard and leapt off the pier into the ocean. Teammates encouraged each other to conquer their fears and make the jump.
A new perspective
Dishonna credits the Team programme with improving her teamwork and leadership skills. But its biggest impact was in transforming her outlook and focus, inspiring her to make big changes – from applying for a nursing course to starting her own business. ‘It helps you to see life in a different way and it opens you up to a new era,’ Dishonna explains. ‘My mentors helped me to keep focused and go for what I want.’
In Dishonna’s new era, she is both an entrepreneur and a student nurse. ‘Being a nurse is my focus for the future right now,’ she says. ‘I like to help people and I’ve always wanted to be a nurse, so I’m following my dreams.’
Having made the jump herself, Dishonna is keen to encourage other young people to dare to follow their dreams too. ‘If you want to do something, just do it,’ she advises. ‘As my mom always says, ‘risk it for a biscuit!’