To the naked eye Jake Richardson appears to be a typical child, extremely mannerly, finding time for a little fun and games on his iPad, and loves to play with his friends.
But you would no doubt be blown away on interaction with the eight year old. Not only that he is well spoken and has a near clinical command of the English Language, but he is also the custodian of a rich vocabulary.
The Precious Treasures student was vaulted to prominence when he became the only one from the Turks and Caicos Islands to participate in the Nexus Youth World Summit on April 22, discussing the topic “Diversity”.
Jake presented a powerfully delivered speech with practical points to a virtual audience of his peers from around the world, as well as facilitators at the summit.
He seamlessly used his life as example. He challenged his audience on how we all differ from the color of our skin to the education we obtain, the ideas we have, to the talent we have been blessed with. He declared that he himself was diverse, based on him being adopted by parents of two different races.
“It was a phenomenal experience because I would never imagine myself doing something as great as participating in a global summit,” he beamed.
Jake revealed to NewslineTCI that he was elated and somewhat surprised when he was told he was be the one to represent Precious Treasures.
“I was extremely happy. Mrs. Hutchinson always told me that I was a very good speaker and I was very polite, so I wasn’t that shocked but I was a little shocked,” he explained.
“I feel very proud of myself, and I feel that (experience from the summit) could give me great opportunities. I feel very proud that I got the opportunity to represent the Turks and Caicos Islands,” he added.
Jake was not coy on what he knows diversity to be.
“I think diversity is our different nations, our different cultures…like Eid Mubarak (which marks the end of Ramadan), which is what the Muslims celebrate.
“They told us that it would be nice to discuss the topic – Diversity – because there is not a lot of diversity going on in the world right now. People always want to be the same as other people. If someone has something nice, they (other people) want to be the exact same. But that global summit helped me to have an opportunity to actually understand what diversity was.
“I think that other people see on the outside that other people seem so happy because (they see them) having a lot of money and all these nice things. But inside, money doesn’t really make you happy, and the things that you have really don’t make you happy. It’s the kind of people around you that make you happy,” he elucidated.
Jake believes that all the participants did well in the summit, though he was allotted majority speaking time on the mere fact that he exuded most confidence among his world-wide counterparts.
In the meantime, Jake is still soaking up the pool of kudus he still gets from persons whenever he goes into public spaces.
“I felt very proud of myself, because everywhere I went…everyone in the store…even if I don’t know them, they would say, ‘Oh, are you Jake Richardson? Congratulations on your global summit’. My friends’ parents from the school here, would see me in the shop and would congratulate me for all the hard work and dedication that I put into that summit,” he said.
One of Jake’s philosophical beliefs is that one should not cast aspersions on another until they have empathized with them. He believes as such practice becomes the norm, the world would become a much kindlier place.
This stage in his life, Jake, who loves to play rugby, basketball, soccer and American Football, appears locked into what he wants his professional career to be.
“I would love to be a veterinarian, and if I cannot be a veterinarian, I would love to become a professional dog-trainer. I have four dogs, a cat and I used to have a couple of fish,” he said.
Meanwhile, Precious Treasures Principal, Yvonne Hutchinson said the entire school population is proud of young Jake. She said based on his overall attitude he will definitely go on to much greater things.