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Karen Tamasa - A girl with a Goal, Keeping it Green

Choices Magazine's Outstanding Young Achiever for 2007

Karen TamasaAt age 20, a stereotypical girl would have just entered University and be obsessed with things pink and fuzzy, but Karen Tamasa seems not to realise that a typical girlhood is available to her. At her age and stage when she should only just be learning about life, stumbling along, bucking her toe and trying to find her way, Karen has etched her name in Jamaican society as a woman with bold energy, to be different and succeed at it. Karen, who prefers green to pink, is not often seen in either colour. What is clear though is that she already has taken a firm hold on a niche entrepreneurial opportunity selling and processing “greens”, something most young people stay clear of.

The St. Mary native is a businesswoman with a purpose. She owns and operates Easy Way Fruits and Vegetables which she started while still at St. Mary Technical High School where she completed secondary education. There she makes natural juices, sells fruits and vegetables and packages some for resale to supermarkets, her goods already on shelves in Kingston and Montego Bay.

But that’s not all. Miss Tamasa also runs a six-acre farm with approximately 500 coconut trees, hundreds of chickens, and employs 18 workers and we presume, based on the lasting impression she left with us, that she is a good boss. Proof that she is no ditsy country bumpkin without options, Karen has seven CXC subjects in 1’s and 2’s to her name.

No matter how you look at it, she is making the green and has not chosen to be part of the corporate world. She’s doing it her way and her agricultural background fuels a passion for farming that apparently is genetic, as her father is a farmer also.

With youth clearly on her side, this young woman is using the energy, motivation and dynamism of a true titan and proves more mature and confident than many who are many times her senior. In fact, Karen strikes a stranger as wise beyond her years.

“Even if what I do for a living looks easy to someone who is not doing the business, it is not what it seems to be when you look on from outside. I have challenges just like every other business person, but it is how and how soon I deal with these challenges that make the difference between failure and doing well,” Miss Tamasa tells CHOICES.

A past student of Marymount High School where she spent did the first three years of her secondary schooling, she has proven beyond a doubt that hard work, determination and panache is the right mix when you want to achieve in a fiercely competitive world.

In the few years since graduating from high school, she has built a business which she owned even before she had finished school and now she is respected in her home community. If that is not enough for the starlet, she is now building her reputation further afield. As a community-oriented person who wants to help in showing other young people the way, Karen has no qualms about rapping with youths on how to carve a niche in areas they excel in.

Meet Karen Tamasa – the person

When she speaks it comes straight from the heart - with passion. In her language it’s about success, young people, agriculture, entrepreneurship, all with a positive, life-altering attitude. So if you listen to her closely, no matter your age, she can prove to be an inspiration to you. In fact, she says the well subscribed notion that “nutten nah gwan is not a topic for me”. Talk with her even for a short moment and you leave her presence highly energized.

She refers to herself using one of the modern buzz words, multi-skilled, and no-one would argue with that – CHOICES has decided to add cutting-edge and talented to her description. Also a wedding planner, farmer and agri-processor, baker, the young woman, only a score old is qualified in tractor operation and maintenance making men her age look clumsy.

Achievements All Around

With modesty, Karen notes her many achievements for doing what she does best – make green. She is winner of the 2007 4H Clover Award, The 2006 Prime Minister’s Youth Award in the area of agriculture, Entrepreneurship and leadership, IICA 2006 Awardee and the JAMPRO icon award. (If you look closely, she is the girl on the JAMPRO ad you see on TV.)

This girl with a goal is also CHOICES Magazine’s 2007 Outstanding Young Achiever. She has proven herself to be a role model and example to others her age and even beyond and deservingly receives this award which was developed in order to celebrate and reward the achievements of young people, as a means of reinforcing positive values and encouraging excellence among the youth.

Having achieved more at age 20 than many twice her age, Karen Tamasa is already a winner.