From state care to law studies - Cedar Grove top performer eyes career as a judge
Fuelled by her faith and her love for the law, Lechelle Walker wants to be remembered as the girl who loves obstacles.
Walker, who has been a ward of the State since the age of two, was one of nine persons who received scholarships from the Children of Jamaica Outreach, Inc.
She told THE STAR: "I am very competitive and if my teacher says for example that I shouldn't do this topic because this topic is challenging, Lechelle Walker will be the only one doing that topic in the entire class. I want them to remember me as the girl who loved the obstacles and was able to overcome the obstacles because she was given strength from God."
Currently the head girl of the Cedar Grove Academy in Portmore, St Catherine, Walker's scholarship, valued at US$5,000 (approximately J$770,500)), will fund her journey to becoming a judge through her bachelors degree in law from The University of the West Indies, Mona.
"I always wanted to defend people. Even when I watch news and I'd hear that somebody has killed somebody, I always say there must be another side to the story. I always want to hear both parties," she said. "Law makes me feel like a lady, like a woman. It's a sophisticated field. I like to be in positions where I strive to be sophisticated, I don't like to feel like a regular lady and to me law is sophisticated."
Embarking on her studies starting this semester, Walker says she is looking forward to this new challenge.
"Not many persons know how to fight this obstacle. Some drop out but I know that as long as God is with me, I can fight any obstacle. I look forward to the obstacle and some maybe think like I'm 'cray cray' but I look forward to this obstacle," she said. Though living without parents in the traditional sense comes with its challenges, she says she has never allowed that to define her.
"I live with my grandaunt. She came and took me when I was two so she's my foster mom now. Being in State care was not my choice, it was somebody else. I wouldn't say 'mistake', but it is somebody else's problem. I'm not having any problems. I'm still living, I'm breathing, I can worship God, I still feel like a regular human. I'm not different from a regular child who has his or her biological parents," she said.
She continued: "My main problem is how do you control your mind because you have to control your mind. 'Cause if you let your mind control you, I promise you that you are in for a treat. So my only problem is maintaining a problem so I can reap positivity and good things and success."