Twenty eight year old Vakeesha John is a family oriented woman whose love for young people in her country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, has pushed her to step up.
Vakeesha attended the Layou Government School, then the St. Vincent Girls High School and the SVGCC Division of Arts, Sciences and General Studies. At that level, she pursued studies in Law, Communication Studies, Psychology and Literature in English. Her most recent studies were completed at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus where she obtained a B.Sc. in Criminology and Criminal Justice, with minors in Psychology and International Relations.
John started teaching in 2014. She worked at the Barrouallie Secondary School from 2014 to 2021 and then at the Thomas Saunders Secondary School in 2021.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Vakeesha made a choice based on her considerations and opted not to take the COVID-19 vaccine, as was mandated for teachers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to do. When asked if this was a choice that she regretted, she answered with a resounding no.
‘No, I made a choice that I was comfortable with based on my considerations and I was not going to allow any government or institution to bully me into taking a vaccine that I’m not comfortable with. Even if I ever decide to get vaccinated, I will not regret it because at the time when I made the decision, that’s the choice I was comfortable with.’ John said.
She disclosed to ANN that life has not been without its challenges since making her decision not to take the vaccine. The challenges, according to John, have not just been financial, but also social, and academic. She noted that these challenges forced her out of her comfort zone and enabled her to tap into her talents.
‘Life has been challenging. I’ve had to adjust financially and socially, even academically as it altered some of my plans, even temporarily. However, it has been a refreshing period at the same time as it forced me to tap into my talents, creativity and shifted my mindset from simply being an employee. I am now self-employed and I’m happy.’ she stated.
Vakeesha was recently elected President of the Young Democrats at the New Democratic Party’s (NDP) Youth Convention. She said it is a love for young people and a disdain for the ‘toxic political climate’ here in SVG that pushed her to make the move.
‘My love for young people and the toxic political climate in SVG has pushed me to step up and step into the political realm to encourage young people to be bold, own our democracy and to get involved in politics.’
She says that she has been a card carrying member of the NDP for quite some time now.
John says with her as President of the group, the time ahead will be a period of education and transformation for young people in the country.
‘The goal of the Young Democrats is to engage youth holistically in SVG. Activities and events will cater to the sporting, cultural, social and psychological needs of our youth. It will be a period of education and transformation for young people in SVG.’
On the topic of running for the Central Leeward seat at the next General Elections, said that she will cross that bridge when she gets to it, saying that the Young Democrats is currently her primary focus.
‘Being president of the Young Dems is already an active political step and will push me further into active politics. As it relates to being on the ballot in the next elections, I will cross that bridge when the time comes. For now, my focus is Young Democrats.’
In the closing moments of our interview with the Young Democrats new President, Vakeesha John, she emphasized a need for the return of democracy in SVG. She says that it is her wish that people would be able to express their political views without the fear of being victimized.
With regards to policies that she would like to see more youth focused ones implemented.