Raising money: Deonae Shanai Jones wants to attend a leadership conference next month. *Photo supplied
Raising money: Deonae Shanai Jones wants to attend a leadership conference next month. *Photo supplied

A 16-year-old Cedarbridge Academy student is raising money in the hope of attending a leadership conference in Europe.

The student, Deonae Shanai Jones, from Sandys, secured a spot in George Mason University’s Global Young Leaders Conference  after a teacher nominated her.

The symposium attracts young leaders from 150 countries and is slated to take place in Austria, Czech Republic and Germany this summer. She would receive two college credits at the 10 day conference, which begins June 29.

Ms Jones had applied for a scholarship to attend the conference, but was told two weeks ago she was not selected for such assistance, said her mother, Denika Wade.

The deadline for submitting funding for the trip has technically passed, but the event organizers said Ms Jones’ spot is still secured while she looks to raise the $6,300 needed. Thus far, the family has shaved about $1,000 off that figure, but more funding is still needed.

Junior deacon

“She really is a great kid and I’m not just saying that because she is mine,” she said. “She works really hard at school.”

Her daughter, she said, is the head of the drama club at CedarBridge and she’s a junior deacon at her church. She’s been invited to sign up for head girl, said Ms Wade.

The conference includes lectures, discussions and debates. The students will try to draft solutions to real world problems.

“She wants to bring back those skills and apply them back home,” she said.

To help Ms Jones reach Europe, a fundraiser was held at Soul Food Promotions in conjunction with Strykz Bowling Lounge in St. David’s on Friday night.

“There were other leadership conferences,” said Ms Wade. “But Europe was what appealed to her the most. I told her ‘I know we don’t have the money for it but if it’s meant for you to be there, you’re going to get there’.” 

For those interested in donating, the family can be contacted at naiquoy@hotmail.com