Featured Member May, 2019 - Dr. Barbara Sharpe
Each month we feature a member of the Jamaican Women of Florida as a way for us to learn more about each other and share the stories of the powerful women who make up this wonderful organization. May’s featured member is Dr. Barbara Sharpe. We’re proud to have her as one of our members.
Doctorate in Educational Leadership with a Minor in Brain Research Leading and Learning from Nova Southeastern University,
Pastoral Staff member & Minister of Edification Pentecostal Tabernacle International, Principal PenTab Academy.
Describe yourself using 3/5 words
I consider myself a passionate education leader who overcame through perseverance.
What motivates you?
I am motivated by helping others, by seeing children learn, and by teachers becoming better at the art and science of teaching.
What takes up too much of your time?
With my children all grown, much of my time is shared between my commitment to my work, church and non-profit organizations I am affiliated with. Understanding how children learn best in this culture and helping them to reach their fullest potential is significant to me. This is what takes up much of my time these days.
Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?
I am impressed with people like Nelson Mandela and Mother Theresa, but my mother is the most impressive person I have known. She taught all her children to read before they went to school, while she herself had limited classroom education. I am amazed at how much that generation was able to achieve, with the little they had.
What age do you wish you could permanently be? And why?
I wish I could be 10 years old forever. That is when I had my first spiritual encounter. When the world seemed innocent, when people were good and everyday was like the long days of summer. That was when I didn’t know I was poor or even what poor was. It was when running through the sugar came field bare footed, eating mangoes, or walking to the river to get water was not a chore but was just simply having fun.
What’s something you like to do the old-fashioned way?
I love to read the old-fashioned way with a book in my hand. I love to do laundry or cook outside the old-fashioned way. When I go home to Jamaica, I enjoy seeing the line-dry laundry fluttering in the breeze and I love the smell of food cooking on an open fire. I love praising God the old-fashioned way.
What have you only recently formed an opinion about?
I have recently formed an opinion on the senseless school shootings plaguing our country. The high level of immorality and the cheapening of life among young people. I have also recently formed an opinion on celebrating our strengths rather than our weaknesses, because there is more that unites us than that which divides us.
How do you relax after a hard day of work?
After a hard day’s work, I love to meditate. Inspirational messages or music draws me into the presence of God and renews my mind and my strength.
What was the best book or series that you’ve ever read?
Having been an educator all my life, I have read many books but ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee is among my list of favorite books. The life-lessons of goodness over hate, sympathy, forgiveness, understanding and the ability to see life from another person’s perspective before passing judgement are lessons, I learnt from that book. I believe that these lessons are still relevant to our times today.
I believe in helping others, and in giving back so that others can go forward. I believe in the mission of JWOF which is to empower Jamaican Women in Florida and to give to the next generation by assisting in leadership and scholarship. This aligns much with my personal and religious beliefs. The Bible states, “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.” JWOF I believe is fulfilling that mandate and is therefore worthy of my support.