The essence of life is to do good and assist others. 40-year-old Conroy Thompson personifies this statement. He has devoted himself to service-oriented leadership, providing impeccable representation and impactful outreach throughout the years he has dabbled in community development.
Born and raised in Montego Bay, Thompson pursued secondary education at William Knibb Memorial High School. He matriculated to Northern Caribbean University (NCU) where he obtained an undergraduate degree, later moving to the University of South Wales to complete an MBA. He later returned to NCU to pursue his second MBA.
Upon the completion of his educational aspirations, Thompson focused his efforts on assisting in community development, with an emphasis on youth empowerment. This resolution came in the aftermath of an epiphany in his youth, where he recognized that it takes a cohesive effort by all members of society to make a positive change. He has since committed himself to assisting in providing this change.
“At an early age I realized that it really does take a concerted effort by everyone to make the country the place we all can live. It makes no sense for us to always look for handouts, when most of the times we have the solutions sitting on to make the change,” Thompson told the Western Mirror.
Thompson serves as the President of the Graduate Students’ Council for NCU, a mentor with Minds of Jamaica, Training Manager for Half Moon, Jamaica and is the Education Chair for the Foundation Committee. He is also an Ambassador for the Governor General’s I Believe Initiative and a member of the Montego Bay City Run Committee. This extensive portfolio has facilitated Thompson in providing opportunities for youth development, in addition to the programmes that he has independently established.
“My passion project – ‘Suit Up Dress Up, Step Up, Youth Outreach’, is a project that I have been doing informally for years, but now that I have attached a name to it, it is ready to be launched officially,” Thompson added. “It will provide young people with some resources when heading into the work world. I will be partnering with institutions to do exit program workshops to help the young people with soft skills training needed to navigate the world of work.”
Thompson’s remarkable track record has netted him several awards over the years, foremost among them being the 2020 Governor General’s Achievement Award for Excellence. He received the award for the over-35 age category in St. James in recognition of his contributions to youth and community development. Thompson revealed that the receipt of these accolades is not the motivating factor driving him, but rather a two-fold intrinsic motivation. The satisfaction gleaned from a job well done and the desire to live up to what his grandmother taught him during his formative years are his driving forces.
“My grandmother taught me to always be respectful and to become a solution. That is the way I have been leading my life so far. As an adjunct lecturer and Student Council President, I get to appreciate teaching and learning from both sides. I can properly advise my students, and at the same time and advocate on their behalf more effectively,” Thompson affirmed. “With my community involvement activities, I get a sense of pride when I can assemble a team to provide meaningful assistance.”
Thompson’s background in education has inspired in him a desire to see a mentorship programme for secondary-level students up to the tenth grade. This mentorship programme would take the form of a Big Brother/Sister Mentorship, wherein students would be paired with an individual who would provide guidance and act as a role model. This programme is one that he is eager to see effected at the national level in order to help address the spate of juvenile delinquency, particularly where young men are seduced by the allure of criminal activities.
In addition to his engagement in nation building, Thompson is also an author. He labelled his book – which is a self-help literary work – as his magnum opus. “My most significant achievement is my book that I recently published Rejected, Redirected for Purpose. It is a book that was designed to help the readers to deal with topics ranging from self-esteem issues to handling grief. It is a book that have been getting rave reviews and I know it will help many individuals who struggle with issues we as humans grapple with and sometimes ignore.”
For the future, Thompson wishes to complete the additional MBA that he is presently pursuing and publish a second book by the end of the year. He also wishes to complete a PhD and establish a youth resource centre as more long-term goals.
“I would advise youths to really see and accept that their lives are valuable. I know that many factors are at play that can be a deterrent to pursue good, but believe me, pursuing nonproductive activities will only lead to your detriment. See your life as one that is great!” Thompson concluded.