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JASON BROOKS | 34

RUDY WEBSTER | 34

Entrepreneur & Community Activist

I.T. Professional

I

t’s fair to say Jason Brooks is community minded. South Valley-born and a family member of Ashley Brooks, a beloved member of the community, he had high standards to live up to. After working at the then-Water Department for 7 years, he took a month off, in which he started washing cars. “I ended up doubling my salary!” says Jason. A few months later, Omega Car Wash was born. After losing three close friends to gun violence in three separate incidences, Jason knew he had to do something. He joined with the Faith Foundation, an organization working to prevent gun violence and support victims. He had already been reaching out to at-risk men in the community, but Jason’s personal tragedies strengthened his resolve.

“I WANT TO SEE MORE YOUNG PEOPLE IN LEADERSHIP POSITIONS... ONCE THE OLDER GENERATION MOVES ON, WE'LL NEED YOUNG PEOPLE TO LEAD.” —Jason Brooks “One of the problems we see is the lack of father figures,” he says. “The guys will say to me, ‘I don’t have anyone to look out for me.’” Having grown up in a close-knit family with little room to go astray, Jason finds ways to extend the support he received to others through mentorship. “Each of them has something good,” he says. “They have a passion. We talk to them to find out what their goals are, and we’ve helped a few get employment.” In one of his prouder moments, he organized a sit-down between the Governor, Her Excellency Christina Scott, the Commissioner of Police, and young men in his community, giving them a chance to air their concerns in a way they never felt comfortable doing before. This year, he’s started an initiative to give school supplies to a different school each month. “It’s a project that I hold dear to my heart,” he says. “It doesn’t take a million dollars to make a difference. I’m really proud of what we’ve been able to do.” OTHER PASSIONS?

I read a lot. And, although I don’t tell too many people, I also write poetry.

T

he recent general elections were notable not only for the results but for how they were broadcast. The government’s election web portal featured live, as-it-happened tallying, letting Anguillians the world over share in the event as it unfolded. Much of the credit goes to the team at the government’s Information Technology department, under the supervision of its Deputy Director, Rudy Webster, who has helped develop the government’s I.T. infrastructure for the last 10 years. As a teenager, Rudy got a computer as a gift sparking a lifelong passion for computers. After high school, he worked as a Technical Assistant before heading to Rutgers to study. When he returned, he began as an Analyst, and promotions followed quickly—but though he’s now in management, previous job descriptions still follow him. “I’ll be heading to SXM to shop and get called aside by an immigration or customs officer,” he says. “They’ll say ‘We can’t print,’ or ‘We have a paper jam,’ and I have to stop until I can sort that out.” St. Martin-born Rudy spent his early days there before the family moved, first to New York City when he was 4, then to Anguilla when he was 8. He sang backup for his 3 Calypsonian sisters. That came to a halt when they asked him to wear a costume. “I was fine just wearing a plain black shirt, but then they brought these elaborate costumes, and I said, ‘No, no, no!’” he laughs. He now sings with the choir at the St. Augustine’s Anglican Church. He’s Vice President of the Anguilla Amateur Basketball Association and has been coaching youth teams for 3 years. “I feel like I’m getting old now, as I enjoy coaching more than playing,” he says.

“MY DAD AND MY UNCLE ARE ROLE MODELS. I'M AMAZED BY HOW THEY'VE PAVED THEIR OWN WAY”—Rudy Webster WHAT OF ANGUILLA’S TECH FUTURE?

We’ve got to make it more practical, allowing students to do more real-world projects to see how they can be applied to real problems. We also have to integrate I.T. more into the education process. A single class is not enough.

HOPE FOR ANGUILLA?

YOUR ROLE MODELS?

I would like to see more young people in leadership positions, contributing to the building of Anguilla. It’s starting to happen, slowly. Once the older generation moves on, we will need young people to lead our country.

My dad and my uncle. As two men who never went to high school, I’m amazed by how they’ve been able to pave their own way.

WORDS OF WISDOM?

If you have a passion or a dream, it’s okay to follow it and not give up on it. There are so many different avenues in this world that you can accomplish whatever it is you want.

POLITICS?

I’ve been asked if I have an interest in running. I'm intrigued by the possibility of leading the country. I have been discouraged by the campaigns and the personal attacks, though this election saw a few candidates who focused on the issues. Hopefully, in years to come, the deciding factor will be who has the best ideas, not who can avoid the most scandal. issueeleven

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Profile for DO Media Ltd.

Design Anguilla Issue 11 - The Men's Issue  

Issue 10 might have been our best received to date, so we simply had to follow up with the male counterpart. The needs of young men have bee...

Design Anguilla Issue 11 - The Men's Issue  

Issue 10 might have been our best received to date, so we simply had to follow up with the male counterpart. The needs of young men have bee...

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