Monthly Archives: May 2014

Jamaican long jumper seeks financial help to complete her PhD in clinical psychology

“>Yanique Levy Jamaican long jumper, former Miss Jamaica and aspiring clinical psychologist Yanique Levy will be unable to complete her doctorate at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida without financial assistance.  Grateful for the wholehearted support of her family, who have given their all to get  her to where she is now, Levy has been exploring every avenue available to her, and in desperation, is turning to the public to assist her in achieving her ambitions.

“I have applied for scholarships at Nova but have not yet received a response. I also continuously search for scholarships but most are for residents of the US and not international students. Also, I have hand delivered many letters to organizations and no one could assist.I cannot apply for a student loan in Jamaica because only persons studying in Jamaica have access to student loans there. In the US, I have to apply for a loan with a cosigner. I had a cosigner who had to withdraw last week at the 11th hr for personal reasons leaving me in the situation I find myself now.I have applied for jobs on campus  but the earliest available one is in August.”

Levy has been an athlete since prep school, representing Immaculate Conception High School at Boys and Girls Championship, winning the sprint hurdles in class 4 and making the finals in the long jump and sprint hurdles events every year thereafter. She continued track and field throughout her undergraduate years at the UWI Mona where she represented them at the intercollegiate championships as well as the intercampus championships. She went on to compete for Jamaica at the CAC game in July 2011 in the long jump where she placed 4th and the Pan American games also in 2011 where she made the final.  She hopes to represent Jamaica in the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

Levy is working very closely with the Sport psychologist at the sport psychology clinic at Nova.  While she was in Jamaica, she assisted the track team at Immaculate Conception High and the football team at Waterhouse football club by teaching them various psychological skills to help achieve peak performance in sports and in their life in general. She hopes to complete her PhD in order to make a positive contribution to her country.

“The country and our Jamaican people are under stress. I am spurred to making a contribution because I am very concerned about the alarming number of violent and heinous crimes being committed on a daily basis. With a Doctoral degree, I would acquire a more solid foundation in psychological principles. This will better prepare me to play my role in improving the mental health of clients.”

In the area of Sports psychology, Levy states that athletes “are faced with many challenges and pressures which make them increasingly susceptible to depression and anxiety issues.” She is concerned that there is a stigma attached to mental health issues which prevents many Jamaicans from seeking help. Her goal is to increase the availability of help while decreasing the stigma associated with psychology.

Apart from her track and field and academic pursuits, she entered Ms. Jamaica in 2008 where she won the most congenial award and also received the Miss Jamaica World Sports Award. She is seeking help from the public to complete her PhD through To help Yanique, click and make a donation.

Jamaican Student Entrepreneurs create organic shampoo using sorrel and rosemary

It is said that Necessity is the Mother of Invention, and this invention began with the need to defeat dandruff. Javin Williams, a teenager fresh out of high school, was the one battling this common complaint. The harsh chemicals in the shampoos on the market purported to deal with the problem, while helping his dandruff, were actually creating other problems. Frustrated, he turned to his grandmother, who advised him to wash his hair with rosemary water. In short order, the dandruff disappeared.

Healthy, dandruff free hair

Healthy, dandruff free hair

Some time later, as a mass communication student at Northern Caribbean University, this enterprising young man, along with his sister, Kamla, a social work major, and medical technology student  Kimiesha Maxwell, used this hair remedy in a Business Plan Competition put on by the Morris Entrepreneurship Centre.  With no prior knowledge of how to develop a business plan, they placed respectably in the top five, prompting the Centre to offer their assistance in further development.

During market testing, the team encountered a number of complaints and turned to the Scientific Research Council for help in ensuring that their ingredients were safe. Meanwhile, Kamal Smith, a medical technology student, was brought on board to help in turning the simple remedy into a shampoo and conditioner.

Their research showed them that several common shampoo ingredients, particularly those which created lather, were actually harmful to hair, causing breakage, dry scalp, eczema,  itching and other hair and skin problems. Some of these products are sulphur, sodium laureate sulphate and sodium benzoate. Additionally, parabens were discovered to be carcinogenic.

The team set about creating a safe, organic, low-lather shampoo that would not be harmful to hair, but which would help it to heal from the harsh ingredients it had been exposed to.  In addition to rosemary, they turned to indigenous plants such as lemongrass and peppermint, as well as sorrel, which was found to add body to hair and improve its natural colour.

In June 2012, Herboo Enterprise was officially registered. The two-in-one shampoo and conditioner was put on the market in Mandeville pharmacies, and began to receive positive reviews and win loyal users offering enthusiastic testimonials as to the product’s effectiveness.

Herboo Team

The Herboo Team on the cover of their University Newsletter. (L-R) Kamal Smith, Ashadane Wright, Kamla Williams, Kimiesha Maxwell and Herboo CEO and founder, Javin Williams

Late last year, Herboo entered a local Business Model Competition sponsored by the Development Bank of Jamaica. At this time, Mass Communications major Ashadene Wright joined their team and they won the contest at the NCU level. Mentored by Hazel Wright O’Connor of the Morris Enterpreunership Centre, the team went on to win the national competition. After this win, with Douglas Lindo from UWI now on board to help mentor the group, they flew to Salt Lake City, Utah, to compete with Universities on an international level.

Herboo 100% Organic Shampoo

Herboo 100% Organic Shampoo

Kamla Williams described the experience as “mind-blowing’, being exposed to ‘the genius that is out there’ in the many amazing inventions by students from such prestigious universities as Harvard and Stanford University. Still, Herboo Enterprise held their own, placing 8th out of 42 teams in the competition, and winning the award for the most impressive international competitor. They even managed to surprise the judges in their presentation, by introducing them to sorrel and its uses. Herboo walked away with US$6,000 and an inspiring educational experience. Kamla explained that learning the business model and seeing how effective it is, was invaluable and has inspired them to make it an ongoing part of their process.

Herboo Enterprise still creates their shampoo in the kitchen of Javin and Kamla’s mother in Cedar Grove, Mandeville. The herbs are sourced from their backyard garden. But their goal is to continue to grow their company, and they have plans to introduce many new items to their product line.

Herboo Shampoo  is currently available in Three Angels Pharmacy, James Family Pharmacy, Can Care Pharmacy, Park View Pharmacy and NCU Bookstore, all in Mandeville, and Fontana Pharmacy islandwide and online.

Herboo Enterprise is also on Facebook at


Spread A Bed Initiative by Asafa Powell

Asafa Powell is raising funds to provide bedsheets for Kingston Public Hospital. Please support if you can.

Spread A Bed at KPH | Indiegogo.

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