“Never in my wildest dreams have I thought of winning the Prime Minister’s award,” were the words spoken by Kadene Vidol, a recent University graduate and now a full-time market vendor in the Charles Gordon Market in the parish of St.James in Montego Bay.
Kadene received the Prime Minister’s National Youth Award – Special Award for Excellence out of 150 nominees and 10 finalists. She was awarded a trophy and $100,000 from Sagicor Bank.
“It is a wonderful feeling for both me and my family; I did this for them and I am very proud that I was able to win this award,” she stated.
Kadene Vidol’s story of her road to success is quite commendable. She is a graduate of the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTECH) and holder of a Bachelor of Science (BSc.) Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management where she achieved First Class honours. However, in her earlier years, she attended the Lucea Primary School, then went to Herbert Morrison Technical High.
Surprising to many, this brilliant young lady came from humble beginnings. She grew up in the community of Sandy Bay and faced many hardships throughout her life in order to finance and complete her studies. She stated that the impact of Covid-19 derailed her plans of going on the Work and Travel programme, however, her determination and drive for success led her to find another means of financing her education. This resulted in the Kadene we know today – a market vendor in the Charles Gordon Market.
Tears rolled down the cheeks of the emotional, yet proud Vidol, as she reminisced on her journey to her success. She recalled studying as early as 1-2 in the mornings and having to wake up at 8 a.m. to go to classes in Kingston at the UTECH campus. She stated that at times after school, she left and went to the country to purchase goods for the market the following day.
A proud, yet hopeful Kadene smiled as she spoke of one day achieving her dream of becoming a Food and Beverage Manager at a prestigious hotel. She stated that she also aspires to do a Master Degree in the Culinary Arts and welcomes the opportunity to migrate to a foreign country.
She further stated that she would love to be afforded a scholarship to finance her studies in Canada or any other university, once the opportunity is there for her to grow and excel.
Currently, Kadene works full-time at the Charles Gordon Market. Some of the produce that she sells at her stall are cabbage, sweet pepper, pumpkin, melon, irish potato, lettuce, pak choi etc. She stated that she does some farming, but on small scale.
Until her dream of becoming a Food and Beverage Manager actualizes, Kadene disclosed that she will continue to work as a market vendor to save towards her goal.
In five years, Kadene Vidol sees herself as an Executive chef in the Hospitality industry.
Watch her interview below.