UNESCO Ambassador, Olympian Veronica Campbell Brown, in discussion with students of St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) during a workshop at the school’s Spanish Town Road campus on Thursday. (PHOTO: JOSEPH WELLINGTON)
OLYMPIC champion Veronica Campbell Brown took time out of her busy training schedule and visited Vere Technical and St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS), fulfilling her UNESCO ambassadorial role with two motivational sessions.
Campbell Brown, who was one of the first female athletes from the Americas to be appointed an United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation ambassador in 2009 for gender equity, told the Jamaica Observer that she is enjoying every moment of it as she tries to uplift young girls.
"It's great. I enjoy giving back because when I was younger, I received a lot of help and I know the importance of giving back, so I enjoy doing it and that's why I launched the Veronica Campbell Brown Foundation to help girls and it ties in very well," said Campbell Brown moments before she started her session at the STATHS school on Thursday morning.
"Having the foundation that deals with girls and having the gender equity in sport, it's just a perfect match and I am able to use those platforms to motivate young girls," she added.
The UNESCO Honorary and Goodwill Ambassadors possess widely recognised talents and accomplishments in the arts, sciences, literature, entertainment, sport as well as other fields of public life.
They are personalities of integrity, who demonstrate a strong desire to help mobilise public interest in, and support for, the purposes and principles of UNESCO.
On Wednesday, Campbell Brown visited her alma mater Vere Technical and on Thursday, she was given a rousing welcome by the STATHS young girls before the workshop started.
"We asked questions which the girls answer in groups then we discussed the answers. It's to let them think, it's to engage everybody and help with their thought process. It's an upliftment empowerment session," Campbell Brown explained.
She continued: "It is to help them to think about what it means to have self respect, have ambition, to be positive and it helps to provoke their thought process about things that can help with social changes."
Meanwhile, secretary general of the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO Everton Hannam was on hand to witness Campbell Brown's workshop.
"She is one of the first female athletes from the Americas nominated and elected as a champion for sports. There are only about two in the Americas, the other one is a volleyball player from Brazil and we are very pleased to have her as our representative as she continues to develop our programme," said Hannam.
"We are pleased to have her here this morning undertaking this activity. It's a success for UNESCO, and of course the UNESCO family will be proud of her," Hannam added.
Campbell Brown, 32 -- born in Clarks Town, Trelawny -- is one of only two women in Olympic history to win back-to-back 200m titles and is the first Jamaican to win a global 100m title.
She is the first winner of the World Youth 100m title earning that distinction in 1999. In 2000, she became the first female in history to win the sprint double (100m & 200m) at the World Junior Championships. She is the first Jamaican female to win an Olympic sprint title.
So far in her illustrious athletic career, she has won three Olympic gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medal. She has won two World Championships gold medals and five silver medals.