“Why shoot for the stars when you can soar into the sky”
Tell me anything about yourself
I am a wife to Errol Koram for 17 years. Together we share 5 talented, smart children . Three of which are athletic young men, ages 16, 13, and 11 through our union and 2 older ones I inherited and adore.
My greatest joy is being a mother to them and watching them grow up to be respectable people in society. I am family oriented and believe that one’s family is very important.
How would you describe your immediate family
My immediate family is very close to me. We spend a lot of time together and enjoy each other’s company.
We learn to lean on each other and support each other through good and bad times.
In terms of my siblings we are very close to each other and whenever time affords, we try to come together and spend some quality time with each other, laughing and catching up on missed time.
What does your name mean, and do you feel you live up to it
Lesley means “Joy”.
Most days I do live up to my name but there are times that I really don’t want to be bothered so I can imagine I am not a joy to be around then.
My daily goal is to live each day as if it were my last, so I try to be productive with my time, be positive, kind, and considerate to others.
Truth be told, I am an introvert, I don’t socialize much and most of my social interactions are centred around, work, school, church, and my children.
In another life what would you come back as
I would come back as being me. I love who I am and the life I live and wouldn’t change anything about it. My experiences in life have shaped me into the woman I am today.
I do have one regret and that is not embarking on my career earlier. Today, I am living my best life and enjoying every moment of it.
Tell me something that made you smile or laugh recently
I was able to smile recently as I watched my children interact with each other and enjoy themselves. This is something I don’t see often because we would often miss each other due to our schedules.
During the day when I’m home they are in school and at nights I go to work. This pandemic has changed our schedules and allowed us the opportunity to spend more time with each other and enjoy ourselves.
What is your favourite animal
I do not have a favourite animal because I am not an animal lover. However, because of my children we do have a small dog living in our home and he has become a part of our family. He is like my 4th child. LOL
Tell me something that scares you (we won’t tell anyone ssssshhh)
What scares me is the realization that our current situation (living in a pandemic) may be our new normal. Not being able to see your loved ones in person, hug a friend or family, socialize with others, and enjoy social gatherings is disheartening.
It made me realize that the things we take for granted are so precious such as the love of family and friends. It scares me that my loved ones may transition and I may not be able to be there or say my final goodbye.
This life we are forced to live scares me.
When do you normally feel your happiest
I am my happiest when I am in the presence of my family and my siblings, more specifically my sisters Novelette Ryan, Nezelette Ryan, Nicolette Ryan, Jovita Fergus and my brother Gilmore “Papchow” Williams.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety
When I am stressed or anxious, I revert to my bed and take a long nap, or I would try to read a good novel. Removing myself from the situation helps me cope.
How do you celebrate your achievements
My achievements are often celebrated low-key. We may go out for a quiet dinner or just chill at home with a bottle of wine.
What made you decide to start your profession
I started my career because I genuinely care about people and always wanted to do something to help others.
Unfortunately, I encountered a health setback earlier in my adult life and instead of pursuing my dream in the health field I decided to study finance and graduated in 2003 with a Finance and Investments degree.
I hated every aspect of it and after working 9yrs in the Banking industry, with the encouragement of my husband I enrolled in Nursing school and have been in school since 2010.
I have my bachelor’s in nursing, my master’s in nursing management and leadership and I am currently enrolled in a PhD program pursuing Nursing Education.
What do you love about your role
I love everything about my role. Being able to be of service to others and helping them bring new life into the world is exciting and rewarding.
I love precepting new nurses and sharing my knowledge with them as they begin their careers. I love the comradery and fellowship we nurses have with each other.
I am passionate about my job hence the reason why I decided to pursue education so I can continue to build a legacy by educating others and keep the nursing profession going. My two favourite areas of nursing are mental health nursing and Labor and delivery.
The mind is a beautiful asset in a person and being able to heal and preserve it gives me joy. Similarly, welcoming a new person into the world is exciting.
With so much going on around us death and suffering,
it is always reassuring and exciting to hear a new-born cry and watch the joyful expression on the parents and loved ones faces.
Nothing brings a family together than the birth of a baby.
What are the typical challenges you face in your role
Currently, the challenge we face is nursing shortage. We do not have enough staff and as a result our patients are not getting the attention and exceptional service they would like to have because we must take on a higher patient load than normal.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years
In 5 years I am hoping to be teaching as a professor in a college in the US as well as leading and managing a hospital as their Chief Nursing Officer.
Would you have done anything differently in your career path
Yes, start earlier in my younger years. Other than that, I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
Do you have any pearls of wisdom you wish to share
I would encourage young people to be very clear in their goals and work towards them. Do not let anything or anyone deter you from following your dreams.
Why shoot for the stars when you can soar into the sky.
Finally this is the moment to shout out to a few people who have really encouraged, supported or even taking a gamble on you to allow your current success
First and foremost, I would give honor to God who is the head of my life. Without his wisdom and knowledge, I would not be sharing this moment with you.
I would also shout out my parents, Clifford, and Lester for their role in my life, without both I would not be here. My aunt Georgette for instilling in me the value of an education and for always pushing me to be my best in everything that I choose to do. (S.I.E.P Aunty).
My husband, Errol for always encouraging me and pushing me even when I felt like giving up. He has always had my back and I certainly love him for that.
My sisters, especially Novelette, I can always count on her to help me with an assignment or for project ideas. My stepmom, Joan for always being there for me, in good and bad times and for never letting me feel like an outsider. I will always be her “daughter”.
Last but certainly not least, my children for putting up with me and being patient when I could not spend time with them.
They have been supportive of me from day one and celebrate my accomplishments more than I do. I love each one of you and the role you have played in my Life.
How can the skills you have acquired help to benefit Montserrat
My skills can benefit Montserrat if I choose to return to the Island. Unfortunately, I have spent so many years away from the Island I truly feel like a tourist when I come here.
I left Montserrat at the age of 9 with my mom. Should I choose to return to Montserrat, my focus will be in developing and expanding the health services on the Island and try to get Montserrat to a level where other Caribbean Islands would be looking to come over for our services.
I would also like to implement a nursing program on the Island and encourage more young people to come into the industry and be of service to others.
What can we look forward to next from you
Graduating in 2022 with my PhD in Nursing Education.
What’s the best thing about Montserrat in your eyes
The peace and tranquility the island offers and how welcoming the people are.
What do you look forward to when going to Montserrat
Relaxing and catching up with my few friends on the Island.
What’s your favourite place to eat/ favourite thing to eat when you are in Montserrat
Favourite thing to eat is hot bread and cheese. I really don’t have a favourite place to eat because I usually cook my own meals.
What would you love to see for Montserrat in 10 years
For the island to develop some more, and its citizens return to its shore and help further its development.
Finally, when you think of Montserrat, how does it make you feel
I feel a sense of peace and calmness. I am proud of my birth land and would love to see it develop some more.