Corey’s spirit of never giving up
If there is one piece of advice that 22-year-old businessman Corey Greenidge has for young people, it’s that they should believe that they can do anything, no matter their circumstances.
He doesn’t see himself as a community leader, but is willing to help those younger than himself.
Corey left the Alleyne School with only two Caribbean Examinations Council certificates. He fell behind “from giving so much trouble” and “by the time I get to fourth form and tried to get serious it was a little too late”.
“I was also sick and used to be out of school a lot. I was a real bad asthmatic. I also had a toothache that kept me out of school for about three months . . . . We had no money to get it taken out and when I went to the clinic, there was a lot of turning around. I lost out on a lot of work as I was in fifth form at that time.
“My mind couldn’t get to hustling at that point. I couldn’t try to do things to make money. That’s how bad it was. While I was home though, I would study the EDPM [electronic document preparation management] and office management that I knew I could do and didn’t need a teacher to teach me. I got back Grade 1s,” said the owner of Big Mack’s Grill Spot and shop in his St Thomas neighbourhood.
Undaunted by his results, he enrolled in evening classes at Frederick Smith Secondary School and studied business subjects and social studies, all of which he passed.
Corey said he always wanted to further his studies, which he will do at some point, and own a business.
He is also community-spirited and wants to do more for the children in the area and is contemplating setting up a club to work with them. He is uncertain what he wants to do at this stage, but is willing to speak with knowledgeable people who can advise him.
That hasn’t stopped him from being charitable. This October and last year, ten per cent of the earnings from the food sales were donated to the Barbados Cancer Society. He also makes other donations but does not want those publicised.
“Last year for Independence, I planned an event out by the Bagatelle pasture to get back some life in the community. As you know, at Independence the rain offsets everything. So, the rain poured that day and I moved it to the Sunday instead in December.
“Kerrie Symmonds [MP for St James Central] sponsored it and others [helped] because once you are doing something good everybody pitches in. Everyone from the community came, adults and children. There was a kids’ zone, dominoes, netball, basketball, a soccerama. Friends helped. Mr Symmonds came and presented the trophies to the winners of soccerama, and it was really good. It brought back the community together,” Corey said.
He is grateful to the people such as Wayne Jordan, who helped shape him.
“Wayne always used to look out for me. He saw something in me and when I was 18 or 19 years old, he came and asked if I wanted to be equipment manager of the Bagatelle Football Club. He did that so I could be part of management. He trained me . . . . I can’t leave him out for nothing,” he said.
Corey will continue to play his part to guide the youth, speaking to them and offering advice and trying to bring the community together. (GBM)