July 15, 2024

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Teen mom defying stereotypes as she tackles entrepreneurship | News

While many may consider teenage pregnancy a setback, 16-year-old Chris-Ann Payne saw hers as a reason to work harder and start her own business, this creating a better life for herself and her daughter.

Chris-Ann, who currently raises broiler chickens, told THE STAR that she started the business during her pregnancy because she enjoyed studying business in school and wanted a source of income to prepare for her daughter’s arrival.

“I was making juice and my godfather would make the labels for me. But when I got pregnant, him ask mi weh mi waah duh and when mi think bout it fi a while, mi decide to do chickens,” she explained. The teen also said that only one month after her daughter’s birth, the child’s father was shot and killed, making her a single mother. This motivated her even more to build her business, despite difficulties.

“I started with 50 chickens and it was hard sometimes, and I even felt like mi did waah stop. Women’s Centre starts 8:30 a.m., so I have to get up early in the mornings, look at the chickens, come back up, take care of mi baby, then I go to school 8:30 to 3 p.m. And when I finish, I have to play netball from 3 to about 7 p.m., go home back, then check on the chickens to see if them alright,” she said. She noted, however, her mother assists her with her daughter Osheena so she can care for her chickens.

Currently, Chris-Ann is attending the Women’s Centre in Portland, and will be graduating next Tuesday. In September, she will be returning to high school to complete her studies, which she had to pause after having her daughter.

“During my pregnancy, I was still going to school because the pregnancy never did a show and mi finish grade 10, duh mi exam dem, finish out mi class them, and mi come first. But after that, mi have the baby inna August and everybody find out seh mi pregnant. But mi did still plan to guh back a school September,” she explained, adding that she later decided to go to the Women’s Centre first to prepare her for life as a new mom. Still, she is anticipating doing well in regional exams, so she can pursue a career in teaching.

“When I finish school, I am going for my first class bachelor’s degree in teaching secondary level math and integrated technology because I love those subjects. I also want a better life for me and my daughter, as well as my mother and sister who have done so much for me,” Chris-Ann said, adding that in addition to all her future plans, she wants to continue raising chickens.

“I want to keep my business alive because mi like it and it is going good. I am currently out of chickens right now and I am going to make an order by Thursday for 25 more, suh it really help mi,” Chris-Ann said.

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