Estell Davis Wright – Still Investing in the Youth

Estell Davis

Estell Davis Wright, former principal of the Lystra Primary School in Somerset, St Thomas, is the consummate educator. Although now retired, she is still investing her time in mentoring young people.

The 62 year-old is now volunteering and improving the lives of several young persons and underprivileged in her community.

“I’m still involved with the young people. I plan to also return to my former school to engage the Girl Guides,” she said.

Since retiring she has started an outreach Sunday School in her community where she not only provides religious guidance to children and adults, but also care packages. She also visits the shut-ins in her community.

A member of the JN Circle St Thomas chapter, where she is the treasurer, Mrs Davis Wright is engaged in planning community outreach projects that are being undertaken by the JN Circle in the parish.

Some of the projects executed include: distribution of vouchers to residents within the community that were in need of assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic; and presentation of electronic hand sanitizers to the Morant Bay and Yallahs Fire Station, Morant Bay Police Station and the St. Thomas Parish Library. The JN Circle chapter is in the process of finalizing plans to establish a sanitization station at a selected school in the area.

“Since retiring I’m so busy. I’m involved in a lot of activities such as my teachers’ association and the women’s caucus group where we assist young women,” she said. “I’m now doing what I want to do and if I can lend a hand to anyone, I do so,” she said.

Mrs Davis Wright started her career as a teacher in 1980 at the Trinityville Primary School in St Thomas after graduating from the Moneague Teachers’ College. She then went on to serve at Mount Vernon Primary School, Seaforth High School, Lysson Primary School – which are all located in St Thomas. She retired from teaching after serving the Lystra Primary School for 18 years as principal.

The mother of two and grandmother believes that volunteering has kept her occupied and active. She encourages seniors to get involved.

“I like to see people happy [when I assist them]. For the children I worked with, initially they would have a gloomy disposition, but after working with them you would see the laughter and happiness returning,” she said.

According to the United Health Foundation, volunteering helps seniors to stay mentally sharp. The Foundation informs that seniors who volunteer on a regular basis have fewer cognitive complaints and show a lower prevalence of mild to moderate dementia when compared with other seniors. Having constructive ways to spend their time and learning new skills as volunteers, both promotes cognitive function that has lasting benefits for seniors and benefits those they spend time helping, the Foundation added.

Glecia Beckford, teacher at Lystra Primary, is one of many who have benefited from Mrs Davis Wright’s mentorship over the years. Ms Beckford explained that she met Mrs Davis Wright at Lystra Primary while she was a National Youth Service volunteer, and Mrs Davis Wright has, over those years, maintained a positive influence on her life.

“She has been my mentor from a young girl. She guided me along the way and encouraged me to grow. Even when she was very firm, I took the correction and guidance and ‘run with it’ as I know only persons who love you, correct you,” she said.

Now a trained teacher and pursuing her master’s degree, Mrs Beckford credits Mrs Davis Wright with assisting her to attain her goals. “All these achievements were because of her influence. She has helped me to be disciplined and a grounded person,” she disclosed.