Olympic sprint champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce gave an impactful, inspirational speech, detailing the start and future of her track and field career on a feature of Fortune Most Powerful Women (MPW), a forum where women can connect, engage and inspire.
Fraser-Pryce was asked the question, “how do you think about what your next is, because you won’t be an athlete forever. How do you think about your next?”
In her response, she spoke about her upbringing in Jamaica and how she overcame many obstacles to be in the position that she is now. She detailed that in the early stages of her life, she received help from a stranger, a woman who was not aware of her nor her abilities. Because of this, she plans to invest in others through sports and education, a deed that she has been doing for years through her Pocket Rocket Foundation.
“I’m from the Caribbean and I’m from Jamaica and it’s a small country where so many girls or people in my community that are underprivileged and I want to be able to be the change for them. And through my Pocket Rocket Foundation that I started a couple years ago,” she said.
Through donations and fundraising endeavours, the Foundation offers financial assistance to high school student athletes (2nd – 6th Form) who represent their school in any sporting discipline. Academic scholarships are intended to supplement their tuition and books. Since its inception, a total of 55 high school student athletes, 29 females and 26 males across 11 different sporting arenas from 22 Jamaican high school islandwide, have benefited from the Scholarship Fund.
Fraser-Pryce also sought to inspire Jamaican women not to limit themselves, because they too belong and can make a change in this world. “We’re not just Caribbean women, we’re not just Jamaican women, but we too can have an impact.” She added that if she was not afforded such life-changing opportunity in her life, she probably would have been another statistic, however, she defeated the odds and envisions creating more space for women like her in her community.
“At this stage of my career I feel young, I feel fit, I think I deserve the moment, the moment is mine to cease. It’s a new beginning, I’m equipped, I’m ready, I’m hungry and I want it,” an enthusiastic Fraser-Pryce said when speaking about being past the age of 30 with a child in her track and field career.
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