IN JAMAICA (GREAT STORY...PLEASE SHARE): Once homeless UWI Medical student, Yemalla Edwards granted US work permit Visa....The 3.83 GPA student has made great strides due to help from PALAS program....He was able to rest his head at nights sleeping at gazebos, stair steps, anywhere there was seat and light on (UWI) campus.

Once homeless Medical Student at the UWI-Mona, Yemalla Edwards, recently received a J1 Visa to work in the USA. He will be travelling to North Carolina, USA on May 20, 2014 to work for 3 months on a student cultural exchange program.

Yemalla applied for one of the 2014/15 Peace and Love Academic Scholarship (PALAS) and plans to be back in Jamaica for the award ceremony slated for Saturday, August 23rd at UWI.
Yemalla Edwards, 22 y-o Med Student at UWI

PALAS Exec. Director, Rula Brown met Mr. Edwards at the 2013/14 awards ceremony at the UWI-Mona Campus when he was introduced by one of his instructor, Mr. Blake. At the time Yemalla had
just completed his first year with a 3.83/4.00 GPA.

Mr. Edwards was facing a massive challenge to support himself financially, and for the most part, did not have anywhere to sleep. He was able to rest his head at nights sleeping at gazebos, stair steps, anywhere there was seat and light on (UWI) campus. His formal home is in Old Harbour, St. Catherine where his mom, who lost one of her leg from diabetes, and seven of his siblings reside. His father drives a water truck in Jamaica. 

Yemalla's unshakable strong faith in God must have directed him to Rula at the UWI campus on August 22, 2013. Subsequently, Rula was able to reach out to a number of friends and listeners to his internet radio show on for support to this brilliant student. Rula was able to donate JA$125,000.00, cell phone and a tablet computer that was donated by PALAS advisor, Mr. Patrick Campbell. 

Additionally, Ms. Judy Grant, a sister of PALAS Board member, Jackie Brown offered to let Mr. Edwards reside at her home next door UWI. Each month Rula sends Yemalla a small donation to help out with utilities at the home. It has worked out great for him, now that he is able to study under better conditions.

PALAS contributor, Ms. Donna Myrie was very elated when she got the news about Yemalla getting the chance to travel to the states, "God bless you and all who saw fit to extend their support for Mr. Edwards," she said. Reggae artist and PALAS contributor, NOVLETTE FELLOWS aka NOVEL-T said she was jumping for joy when she got the news. I just say, "Thank you Lord, God bless him!  He’s such a worthy student and an example for all of us to take notes from." Despite the seemingly impossible, Yemalla did what he had to do to remain in school and still maintained good grades!

Rula will meet with him when he settles in after his arrival in the USA.  He plans to introduce him to his personal Medical Doctor, Dharmaraj Patil  in Atlanta, Georgia. The goal is to have Yemalla do at least a two-month internship with him in 2015. When asked what was his moms reaction, she happily said, "he (Yemalla) was her first child to go to college, and the first one to fly on a plane." His mom used to sell food products at Coronation market in Kingston.

You might also add that Yemalla's success is an implication and commitment of PALAS' outreach to students who are in desperate need for that financial nudge and assistance to get them over the hardship hurdle. Hence, PALAS is appealing to all, to donate to a worthy cause at and, in doing so, we are PRESERVING YOUNG MINDS FOR POSTERITY. Yemalla will graduate with his Medical Degree in 2018...

PALAS awarded 115 scholarships over the past 3 years valued at JA$5.2 Million (US$50,300.00). Goal is to award 100 scholarships/computers in 2014/15. You may Partner with PALAS (PWP) by donating a minimum of $350.00 to have a scholarship in your name, loved one or your company each year. We are seeking donations urgently. Please donate online at or Send check to : 
PALAS, PO Box 5461, Alpharetta GA 30023 USA. PALAS is a non-profit, 501 (c)  (3) organization, headquartered in Alpharetta, GA. 

You may read additional news about Yemalla Edwards published in the Jamaica Observer, October 13, 2013. more

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