To possess inward beauty and a caring heart is to be gifted. If you are also young, you are blessed. These are the qualities that emanate from Tameka Hill, Miss Clarendon's Festival Queen, who was crowned winner from a field of 12 contestants at the Hotel Versalles in May Pen on May 1, 2005.
Tameka was born at the Chapelton Hospital in Clarendon of humble parents, Evial and Dorothea Hill, who had no idea, then, that their baby girl was a star in the making.
On leaving Primary school, Tameka attended Clarendon College between the years 1987 and 2004. Unlike many other students who spend five years in high school, she spent seven years, because she continued there until sixth form. She said that she loved that school and thought that it had a lot to offer in terms of molding her life and character. She also wanted to give something back, so she opted to assist with school activities while she studied.
During that time, she also became very involved in church and community activities. A Pentecostal by denomination, she worshipped at the Four Paths church. She became a friend of the ‘Dare To Care’ Home for children with HIV/AIDS. She not only visited and spent time with them, but also took medications, which she procured through her own efforts. This she did on two occasions.
Tameka’s caring heart led her to visit the Chapelton prison. There, she had a chance to go inside. “I came face to face with the inmates and the condition of the cells, and I believe everyone should see this for him or herself, because it would probably prevent them from doing things that would cause them to end up there,” she said.
This encouraged her to take her first stint at journalism. She depicted the prison condition in a story to Go-Local Jamaica, the Gleaner’s community-based website, which paved the way for other stories.
Tameka’s aspiration to become an all-rounded media practitioner took her to the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, where she is now a first-year student pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media and Communication. She has been made Personal Relations Officer (PRO) of the Students’ Emergency Response Team, and immediately co-hosted an official ceremony, which was a success.
The first-year university student, who is just 20 years old, is very focused, caring, and ambitious. She has plans to implement a programme that is intended to mobilize the young people in her community to become knowledgeable about their culture, to enhance awareness of talents they might not realize they possess, and to develop their self-esteem. This she hopes to get on stream before Christmas this year.
On completion of her first degree, Tameka hopes to do her Masters in Canada, where she understands that they offer a very comprehensive course in media and communication.
She likes print and on-line journalism. Her special media house is the Gleaner, and she hopes to work with that company in the future.