Now in his fourth year at the University of the West Indies, where he is pursuing his ambition to become a neuro-surgeon, Yemalla Edwards is giving God thanks for opening doors for him.
Today, a three-time recipient of the Peace and Love Academic Scholarship (PALAS) and a protÈgÈ of the founder Ruel 'Rula' Brown, he has just returned from an internship in Atlanta, where he has been receiving valuable experiences learning from doctors there, all in his quest for his ultimate goal.
Edwards, whose life is totally powered by his supreme faith in God, had to overcome a lot to get to where he is now.
Coming from a large family - seven siblings to be exact - it was a struggle from his student days at McCooks Pen Primary School in St Catherine as he recalls that many times he had to attend school without lunch money.
His father was earning the minimum wage and at the time, his mother was selling in the market. money was tight.
What the family lacked in resources, they made up for in encouragement and faith, which was what saw Edwards looking past all those roadblocks to focus on his books.
A past student of St Catherine High School, he was over the moon when he was accepted in September 2012 as a full-time student at the University of the West Indies to read for a degree in science and technology. His excellent performance saw him being promoted to read for the bachelor of medicine and surgery degree in the Faculty of Medical Sciences. His performance was amazing, considering what he was going through at the time.
"I couldn't afford to make the trek home, so I bounced around on campus. I slept in various corners and places, some I can't even explain here. I had sleepless nights because of the intense studying as I didn't have any textbooks to aid in my studies. I had to stay in the library after school until in the morning, then get a bath, and then head off to school by 8 a.m."