Recently appointed junior mayor for the Portmore municipality, Sherissa Pinnock, is advocating for Jamaicans to invest more in health, wellness, and herb gardening, which she believes will allow persons to live longer and healthier lives.
It is for this reason that Sherissa, a 15-year-old student of The Cedar Grove Academy in Portmore, St Catherine, wants to start herb and wellness gardens in schools with some of the $500,000 funding she will get to undertake projects to uplift the Portmore municipality as junior mayor.
“I believe it [herb gardening] will bring people together when they plant, to engage in agriculture and watch it flourish. I do agriculture at my school, so we learnt a little on that, and I plan to get some more experience and some more advice on how to do that,” Sherissa said.
Pinnock, along with other junior mayors from across the island, called on Prime Minister Andrew Holness at Jamaica House recently.
The first two herb and wellness gardens that she hopes to establish as junior mayor will be at her alma mater, Bridgeport Primary School; and her current school, The Cedar Grove Academy. “I also plan to paint the Bridgeport Primary School,” she said.
In addition to her plans for Bridgeport Primary, she is also exploring ways to assist in other areas.
Sherissa was born with the birth defect Amelia (absence of one or more limbs), which affects her left arm. Despite this challenge, Sherissa is determined to achieve greatness.
She said that persons who are born with Amelia are often discouraged from engaging in youth leadership positions as they are teased, but she is not daunted.
Sherissa said that her situation has encouraged her to achieve, just as others her age who are blessed with having both hands and all 10 fingers.
“Fortunately, I have never gone through any major setback in my life, apart from my arm. Other than that, I have been having a good life,” she said.
Sherissa said that she is always supported by her parents, Wilbo and Jacqueline Pinnock, and her sister, Sahara Pinnock.
The junior mayor said that her goal is to make a major difference in Portmore, and she strongly believes she has the ability to do so.