“The opportunity to go to university to do something that I love, is a good feeling.”

By Cait-Amoi Goulbourne

September 24, 2021

Jason Lewis is a student at the University of Technology, Jamaica. He is enrolled in the Entertainment Design, Production and Technology Programme. He is also a recipient of an Advance Program scholarship.  

Jason shares his university experience and journey with Advance.


Jason: Hi, my name is Jason Lewis. I am a student at the University of Technology, Jamaica.  I am enrolled in the Entertainment Design, Production and Technology Programme. I am also a beneficiary of the Advance Program.   


Jason:  The opportunity to attend college is one that I am very grateful for and is a big deal for myself and my family. I’ve always wanted to go to college, but it’s always been myself and my mommy, so finance has always been a huge problem.  


Jason: I sat out a few years, started doing some odd works here and there just to ensure that I can help her balance the household duties here.  


Jason: In 2019, I enrolled in an events management course at the University of the West Indies open campus in Montego Bay. I have always wanted to do something in the entertainment sector, and this was the closest that I could have gotten to a tertiary education given my financial situation. 


Jason: It was that point in time I learnt about the USAID Advance Program scholarship. I applied. I was short listed and I was granted the scholarship. This meant a lot to my mother and grandma and most of all, it meant a lot to me to know that this scholarship would’ve paid for my tuition, boarding and my meals. 


Jason: The opportunity to attend university to do something that I love, is a good feeling. It has boosted my self-esteem to know that I am being trained in a field that I have a huge interest in. Passion meets training.  


Jason: This scholarship means a lot to my family. Mommy one son soon to be a college graduate, it doesn’t get much better than that. 


Petrina: It has made me very excited about that, because that is what he has wanted all along. He had always wanted a scholarship to go to university. 


Petrina: My dream for Jason is to see him excel to the top and I’ve always been encouraging him that the sky is the limit so that is where he should be looking. 


Jason: My college experience has been a good one, and it has been enhanced by the fact that I am doing something that I really have a passion for, entertainment design, production and technology. 


Jason: I enjoy this course because it offers the ability to learn more about entertainment. The fact that I get to learn about lighting, sound, set design, scenic design, everything comes together in one entertainment package and I really like that.  


Jason: My favourite subjects at college right now is Timber Technology, Architectural Drawing, AutoCAD and Introduction to Entertainment Design, Production and Technology. 


Jason: I love lighting design. It offers me the ability to express myself. Lighting design is also how you want your audience to feel when they enter your event. 


Jason: After university I intend to start my own entertainment and production company. I also wish to work with entities such as John Swaby Entertainment, Main Event Group and SMB Creative Group. 


Jason: The Advance Program has brought persons from various backgrounds together. These students are driven and are as hungry for the opportunity as I am. 

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Jason: What I like most about the Advance Program is that they go above and beyond just tertiary education. They have facilitated webinars and seminars to ensure that these students are prepared for the work place. 


Jason: I cannot forget the webinar with Nadia. Nadia is a lighting designer. Her seminar was informative and very eye opening.  


Jason: Currently, I am a part of the entrepreneurship program, one of Advance’s labor bridging activities. My facilitator is Shelia. Shelia is helping me to re-write my business plan and prepare me for the world of entrepreneurship and to start my own business. 


Jason: She is also allowing me to meet industry players such as Sean Paul’s manager. 


Jason: Advance has gone above and beyond to ensure a smooth transition from classroom to industry. 


Jason: Life outside of school is very interesting. I believe in nation building and community development. So, when I am not focused on school, I am helping others. I have a foundation, the Kings Give Back Foundation. Through this foundation we host book drive and food drive. Our aim is to assist children in need with food, stationery; whatever they need. 


Jason: I also attend parties not just to have fun but to see what is going on in the industry. What other persons are doing and also learn from what they are doing as well. 


Jason: We really appreciate what the program is doing and the impact it is making.  

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