When the sex scandal broke in Central Monrovia from the Campus of the infamous “More Than Me Academic”, shock waves of shame and apprehensions spread across the nation. Almost everyone was angry and wanted some justice and a form of rehabilitation for the abused young girls. But as the custom is for Liberia, the headlines and anger popped up just for a day or two, and on the third day, it died a natural death. The victims or survivors, who are predominantly from a slum of Monrovia, groped about seeking path out of their quagmire. One person who remained awake and made impactful follow-up on the situation was the country’s first Vice President, Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor. Indeed, she did not go to sleep like all others on the sad story. She rose up, told the destitute folks on the record that they would not be left alone. And, for sure, as The Analyst reports, the promise of the Vice President turned into concrete testimonial benefits for the “More Than Me Academic” survivors. See below:
West Point Girls and VP Taylor making History together
Barely 3 years ago, the first Female Vice President of Liberia made a solemn commitment to a group of 20 young women from West Point, a slum Community in Monrovia, that she would stand by them and see them through High School. When this commitment was made, the eyes of the young women were filled with fear. Fear as they had just graduated from the 9th grade at the More Than Me Academy; which had been embroiled, years earlier, in a sexual abuse scandal. They had no hope of how their future would turn out; whether they would return to their slum community and become slum dwellers or continue their education. Thankfully, the Vice President, had come to their aid and all hope was attached to her simple promise made on that day.
One of the girls remembered the Vice President’s words on that day as she said- I will do all I humanly can to make sure each of you gets a decent education. Another remarked, She is truly a PROMISE KEEPER.
For the past 3 years, the Vice President has worked, lobbied and intervened to secure educational opportunities for over 2000 girls across the nation, Liberia; and she has kept her promise to US – Girls from West Point; who call themselves – THE GIRLS FROM RIGHT NEXT DOOR. There are 20 of us, 13 at Ricks Institute; 6 at CWA and 1 at Muslim Congress High School. On November 9th, 2021, the Principal from Ricks Institute, Principal Jarbah took the time out from his busy schedules to take a historic picture with the Jewel Star Fish beneficiaries on their first week in the 12th grade. Wow! What an inspiring sight of young women who are on the verge of completing High School from a historic and prestigious institute of learning.
Their voices raised in expectation and praises, give glory to God for this unexpected opportunity; and appreciation to Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor. Firstly for allowing them to be a part of the Jewel Star Fish Beneficiaries, for affording them the opportunity to get a sound education, and for providing them all they needed to SUCEED including ICT Tablets for their work at school. They promised – Mama Jewel; as the Vice President is fondly called; that they would study very hard and pass their exams to complete high School. They reminded her that their hope remained with her to send them to College afterwards. They then thanked all those who continue to help Mama Jewel provide support to them and other girls across the nation; especially the prominent Liberian women led by Madam Mai Urey and others who provided them support during the Covid period. They thanked the Principal of Ricks who has taken the time to work with them to ensure that they remained on course. One of them concluded – our journey has been challenging, but because of the commitment of one woman – Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor; the sky has become their beginning.
This is a great story of how Liberian Women (especially Chief Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor) and others continue to provide opportunities for the next generation of females to STEP UP and STEP OUT into their destinies.
THANK YOU MAMA JEWEL.