by Howard Campbell
[KINGSTON, Jamaica] – Jamaica’s politicians and private sector leaders often bemoan a lack of commitment and conviction among the country’s youth. But Natassia Barrett-Wright has empathy for those considered wayward, having endured considerable hardship in her early years.
A leadership and Human Resources practitioner, she and her husband Jamar operate Mind Food International, a Kingston-based company that offers leadership training and HR services in Jamaica and the Diaspora.
“Mind Food International Limited aims to develop, activate and transform people to become leaders. We have held over 50 different seminars which focuses on various areas in life,” said Barrett-Wright. “We published our first book, Mind Food: Recharge Your Mind: 31 Day Inspirational Guide Jump Start Your Day, Your Life, Your Dream; and a second book – 30 Days to A Renewed Mind, which looks at how to remove negative mindsets. We have finished penning a third book called Hope Giver: From Woundedness to Wholeness, set to be published before the end of 2021. Our vision is to develop third world leaders to transform the world around them.”
Since its launch in 2013, Mind Food International has conducted numerous empowerment seminars in Jamaica. The Wrights have also participated in similar events in South Florida including the Caribbean Leadership Summit in Miramar last year, and Leading Leaders at The Next Level, which took place in 2019.
Making an impact on young lives is personal for Natassia Barrett-Wright. At 10 years-old, she was homeless after the house she lived in was destroyed by fire; months later her father, a police officer, was murdered.
Six years later, her mother died from an asthma attack. The following year while she was a freshman at the University of the West Indies, Barrett-Wright’s grandmother/guardian succumbed to cancer.
Even graduating from university failed to lift her spirits.
“I was lost and uninspired. I was so depressed and thought there was no meaning to life, especially given all that I had gone through. My turning point came when my then boyfriend, now husband, invited me to church. That Sunday as I sat in Power of Faith Portmore, Bishop Dr. Delford Davis delivered a sermon that changed my life in 2013. It all came together that what I had gone through was not to destroy me but should be used to help others,” Barrett-Wright recalled. “I have never looked back since that day. I recommitted my life to Christ and set out with a renewed sense of hope and direction.”
The Wrights’ campaign has been recognized at the highest level in Jamaica. Their Caribbean Leadership Summit, held in June last year, was endorsed by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen who awarded them Governor General’s Award for Excellence in Leadership.