My name is Ali Dowden and I am from the village of Mt. Moritz, St. George’s. For me growing up life was never that easy but looking back now I can truly say that God had a plan for my life and so the struggles that I went through made me into the person I am today. My parents had me in old age with my mom being 42 at the time and my dad in his 60ths. At the time of my birth, my mom suffered from mental illness and so it was left up to one of my aunts to raise and care for me. I lived with my aunt from birth until the age of 9. When my mom was once again able to care for me I spent a short time with her until the age of 13 when she departed from this earth.
Growing up life was not at its best, but with God’s grace, I made it till this present day. Despite losing my dad back in 1998 at the age of 6 and then my mom in 2005 at the age of 13, I was able to attain my Secondary school education at the Grenada Boy’s Secondary School. I then successfully attended the T.A. Marryshow Community College where I attained an Associate’s Degree in Accounting & Economics and then moving onto St. George’s University with the help of a partial scholarship from the university as well as with the help of a family member in Australia who ensured that I successfully attained my Bachelor’s Degree in Management.
In the year 2010, I decided to give my life in service for the betterment of humanity and so my guiding philosophy from then has been “Service to God and Service to Humanity”. I joined several charities in that same year namely the Grenada National Patient Kidney Foundation which I served as the President for 3 years out of five years of voluntary service with them, the Grenada Cancer Society, the Friends of the Mentally Ill Organization and most recently co-founded the HEON Project with an outstanding group of young talented Grenadians who having struggled to attend TAMCC themselves decided to come together and do something to help others that may fall into similar situations.
Through it all, I must say that the struggles have helped me to understand the meaning of life and what it means to give back and helping others. Upon my mom’s passing, I had little funds to get along because her employment was part time as a de-busher in the Government de-bushing program and depended heavily on the generous support of my family members overseas to support me. In 2007 my eldest brother’s sister, “Nene”, took me in and ensured that I had a shelter over my head along with clean clothes and food to eat.
In 2008 and 2013 my life was almost taken from me due to a family member on drugs and always coming after me because he felt that I had no one to stand up to him and defend me, but through it all, God sent his angels to protect me.
Today I am involved in politics and it is not about power but it is because of my struggles in life that have propelled me to take a stand and to get in front-line politics and to stand up to the injustices that presently exist in our society. I intend to be of Service to God and to Humanity always. Most recently I have been recognized by Her Majesty the Queen for the 2016 Queen’s Young Leaders Award for my contribution to society and being an active citizen. On Thursday, June 16th I traveled to London where I am currently spending two weeks and during that time I will attend a special awards ceremony where I will officially receive my award from Her Majesty the Queen. I am truly honored and humbled to have been chosen and I am proud to receive this award for my country. I want to encourage everyone out there never to give up hope and never to give up the struggle. Always put God first in everything that you do and trust him to lead the way.
I am Ali Dowden and #IamGrenadian