FROM GANGSTER TO NATION BUILDER (IN JAMAICA) : Budding teacher, 27 y-o Surinae Brown tells how he shook off the dangers of life....."I was a very bad teenager, very, very bad."

BY JEDIAEL CARTER Sunday Observer staff reporter  Sunday, November 15, 2015  
IN retrospect, Surinae Brown's life was tumultuous. The now 27-year-old admitted that before the intervention of the Citizens Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) he led a life that was heading for destruction.
I was a very bad teenager, very, very bad
"I was a very bad teenager, very, very bad. To the point where I was about to get kicked (expelled) from Papine High because I was doing so many bad things," Brown said.
"I wanted answers. There were a lot of questions that I had in my mind but I couldn't really ask anyone. I didn't want to open up to anybody because I didn't want them to know that I was feeling this pain," he said as he sought to explain his actions.
At age four, Brown said that he encountered a life-changing experience as his main caregiver -- his mother -- died.
"That kind of bring my life in a different way because my primary caregivers weren't there, so I had to be cared for by my grandparents. You know they tried to do the best they could with me but of course as a young man you would normally give over into bad influences," he said.
Falling to negative influences, Brown became notorious in high school and was labelled as the disruptive student from August Town. His search for attention caused him to skip classes, get low grades, pick fights and even become the leader and creator of a gang, among a myriad of other deviant behaviours.
Brown (right) shares his story with the Jamaica Observer,
while Howard Lewis, another beneficiary of the CSJP looks on.
"I would be the type of student who just walk in a class and start to sing a song and everybody just start to sing it, and that would just tear down the whole class," Brown told the Jamaica Observer in an interview.
Life became even more difficult for Brown soon after his grandparents emigrated. Though living with his aunts and uncles at the time, Brown was forced to sell peanuts and other goods in the Papine, August Town and Tavern communities, as a means of helping to support himself through school.
During this time, one of Brown's uncles was murdered -- another encouragement for wrongdoing. more

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