Krystal Paige Robertson – Kingston, Jamaica
Krystal Paige Robertson is a sunny young professional hailing from North Miami Beach, Florida. Her Jamaican roots add spice to her infectious, bright, bubbly personality. It is the pride in her heritage and dedication to helping underserved youth that spurs her commitment to Cornerstone Jamaica.
Professionally Krystal works in Miami Beach as a Health Coach helping young professionals and creative artists make the transition from a state of confusion and uncertainty about their life’s direction to one of clarity, assuredness, and success. As a classically trained actress and professional media producer, Krystal’s specialty is for helping her clients and students “re-write” the story of their lives.
Krystal earned her Bachelors in Radio Television Film Production from Howard University in 2010 and her Masters in Arts Management from Columbia College Chicago in 2012. As a community leader in the cities of Washington D.C. and Chicago, for five years, Krystal worked with underserved inner-city girls ages 8-18, as a mentor leading workshops on self-esteem, identity, education, sexual health, and career training.
Mark and Cate Toney – Redding, CA, USA
Mark and Cate Toney moved to Jamaica December 16th ,2014, three weeks after they got married.
They work hand in hand with three different ministries/nonprofits: Mission of Sight, Morning Star Ministries, and Cornerstone Jamaica. During the week they visit primary schools with a Plus Optix Portable Screener to do free eye testing on kids .On the weekend they travel way up into the mountain of Good Hope in Santa Cruz, where they work with a woman by the name of Nurse Karen, who started Morning Star Ministries after moving to Jamaica 15 years ago. A few years ago Nurse Karen took on about 5-10 boys and started investing in their lives. She started taking them through a biblical leadership class. The kids who have graduated from her class have gone on to work professionally in Jamaica and have become world changers. The Toneys now lead this ministry, and it has grown to over 40 kids. On Saturday Cate runs a day camp for the little kids (12 and under). Cate says, “These kids on the mountain have become our family and have so easily worked their way into our hearts. They don’t come from much and some have the hardest stories I have ever heard but when they walk up to us with a big smile on their faces, I have never seen more joy.”
Then there is Cornerstone Jamaica ..Cate says,” We have just recently become partners and could not be more excited. This is a way that we will always be able to stay connected to Jamaica”. In Jamaica there is no mandatory testing for kids before they get into school to get their eyes tested. Research shows that 1 in 4 children should have some sort of corrective lens. In Jamaica, however, in a school of 400, maybe 1 or 2 kids have eye glasses. It has also been said that 60% of kids in special needs classes in Jamaica are only in there because they can’t see well but don’t know it– because their eyes have never been tested. Mark and Cate have partnered with Mission of Sight and Cornerstone Jamaica on their initiative called “See Better.Learn Better”. The effort is to not only get these kids custom eyeglasses, but also to work with the Jamaican Government to make eye testing mandatory for all kids before going to school. Mission of Sight and Cornerstone Jamaica work hand in hand, understanding the importance of these kids seeing better so they can learn better, because they are the future of Jamaica! Cate goes on to say, “ We were called here. Our first month here was tough and it was hard understanding the culture. But, once we got into the lifestyle of Jamaica we LOVED it. We love the food, culture, music, language, way of life, and most of all, the people..It is where we started our future, our marriage, our family, our giving of time and self, and where we have planted a part of our hearts. No matter where Mark and I live, Jamaica will always be where it all began. Cornerstone Jamaica is the backbone to what we do and why we love Jamaica so much.. One Love..” .
Jessica – Davidson, Westmoreland, Jamaica
A product of humble beginnings, Ms. Jessica Pethrene Davidson is a dynamic young teacher from the bountiful parish of Westmoreland Jamaica. For Jessica, the act of teaching is not just a profession but a lifestyle and a special call of duty. It is a field where your perception, principles and morals are just as vital as your skills in instructions. This privilege of facilitating knowledge now serves as fuel for her endeavours of “being the change she would like to see” through the empowerment of education.
Armed with a diploma in Secondary Education, a Bachelors Degree in History Education and guided by a deep love for her country’s special blend of Jamaican strength, Jessica believes that it is our responsibility as a people to build our country one community at a time using the talents we have been uniquely blessed with. Through use of various platforms, she seeks to impact and influence others in moulding a better Jamaica than what currently exist.
As a former Festival Queen, she has been shaped into a cultural ambassador, speaking at various community organized events, sessions and schools with an emphasis on educational empowerment and national pride. The future is what we as individuals make of it and so we must become an active participant in it.
The spirit of service has always enveloped a major Jessica’s life and has manifested through her membership with the Rotaract Clubs and Rotary family at large across the Caribbean. She further embraces this call as Jamaica’s Governor General’s “I Believe Initiative” Ambassador effectively modelling that “there is nothing that is wrong with Jamaica which cannot be fixed with what is right with Jamaica”.
Alexandra Ostrow is a strategist and project manager with a focus on addressing today’s most pressing social issues.
A former marketing director, Alexandra managed global accounts for brands such as Mattel, JP Morgan Chase, Medtronic Diabetes, The Michelin Guide, and Pepperidge Farm, as well as spent two years in Communications at Cardozo Law School, and three years managing a New York animal rescue.
After leaving her job at a top New York agency, Alexandra set out to support the nonprofit sector while also working to uncover the true potential of Corporate America: its potential to positively impact employees, communities, and industries.
Today, as the founder of WhyWhisper Collective, she empowers innovative business and nonprofit leaders to address social, economic, and environmental issues through strategy, planning, and project management. Clients have included New York State, Echoing Green, Starlight Children’s Foundation, The Center for Social Impact Strategy at The University of Pennsylvania, Estee Lauder’s BCA Campaign, and more.
Alexandra is in the process of writing a book on new models for work and business called “Re-Imagine: Lessons Learned After Quitting My Job”, and has been featured in Fast Company, Inc., Huffington Post, and WWD, amongst other publications.
A New York City native and NYU graduate, Alexandra relocated in 2017 to pursue her West Coast dreams. Today, she lives in Venice, California, alongside her partner, two dogs, and two cats.
Anika Robinson, Kingston, Jamaica
Anika Robinson is a people person with a creative mind! She’s full of life, down-to earth and a lover of art in all forms.
A graduate of the University of the West Indies, Anika holds a Bachelors of Arts in Journalism. She is presently a Media Practitioner (Writer, Producer and Editor) and a licensed Realtor who resides in Kingston, but considers herself to be a real ‘countrygirl’ from Westmoreland, Jamaica.
She has freelanced on a number of investigative journalism projects for Global Reporters for the Caribbean; producers for TV Magazine 18 Degrees North, Hype TV, Newstalk Radio, Television Jamaica (TVJ) and most recently a full time Producer at Business Access TV (batvja.com)
As young as she is, she has always believed and demonstrated the importance of giving back and positively impacting/shaping the minds of youths from executing community building projects to her involvement with other non-profit ventures.
She is very proud and excited about Cornerstone Jamaica, the vision of the organization and the endless possibilities it offers to young passionate souls to play their part to achieve a better Jamaica and by extension a better world!
Kenya Wagstaffe, Brooklyn, NY, USA
Kenya Wagstaffe is an admissions associate at an independent school in Brooklyn, New York.
An advocate for the less fortunate and disadvantaged, Kenya has worked in the Albany, NY community as a social worker in a public high school and residential treatment facility for neglected children. Kenya spends some of her time outside of work mentoring youth, volunteering abroad, and supporting the annual NYC AIDS Walk campaign.
Kenya graduated from the University at Albany with a Bachelors of Arts in Africana Studies and a Masters in Social Work. In 2011, she spent nine weeks in Tanzania, East Africa teaching HIV/AIDS prevention and sustainable agriculture to secondary school students and adults of the Maasai tribal community. In 2016, Kenya volunteered on a medical mission trip to Jeremie, Haiti for Hurricane Matthew relief efforts, in which she aided in donating clothes and hygienic products, as well as serving hot food to families in need.
In her free time, Kenya likes to travel, read, and connect with people across all cultures and walks of life.
Kenya’s desire to give back to her parents’ birthplace of Westmoreland, Jamaica is what led her to Cornerstone JA. She looks forward to working alongside other passionate individuals towards the common goal of strengthening Jamaica.
Mario Thomas, St. Mary, Jamaica
Mario Thomas considers himself a multipotentialite because he has never been able to answer the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?”
Mario has many passions and interests and believes strongly that he cannot and should not resign himself to comply with the notion of a narrowly focused life that is the commonly used societal benchmark for success. His life goal is learn as much as he can and follow as many of his life passions as time will allow.
A native of St. Mary and a local of Queens New York, New Haven, Connecticut and DuPont Circle, Washington D.C., Mario enjoys traveling, finding strategic connections and friends and conceptualizing innovative business ideas.
Mario believes that Jamaica has the potential to become the Singapore of the Caribbean and has pledged to do everything in his power to ensure that Vision 2030 becomes a reality. Hence his reason for joining Cornerstone because he sees in the organization a group of strategic and powerful individuals who can help him to make that dream a reality.
Mario earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and a Certificate in Phlebotomy from Northern Caribbean University in 2015, a Comprehensive Master of Arts ’17 in Religion from Yale Divinity School, and a Certificate in Real Estate Principles and Practices from Gateway Community College, in New Haven Connecticut.
He is currently working at the Embassy of Jamaica in Washington D.C., as Assistant to the Ambassador for Communications and Strategy.
Kimberly Black, Kingston, Jamaica
I am a resident of the Rose Town Community and the Clerical/Communications Officer at the Rose Town Foundation. I am a certified student in Customer Service at the Pre University School on UWI Mona Campus and Logistics Hub at the Trench Town Polytechnic College. I am also certified in Capacity Building by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund. Before I started working with the Foundation; I have several experiences working for government organizations like Department of Correctional Services and Jamaica Defence Force. I am passionate about my community, I see myself helping people in the Rose Town community and worldwide. My motto is: I am an overcomer, it does not matter where I come from; once I put my mind to achieve something I can achieve it.