High school student with Caribbean descent does good through leadership

Jason Browne, high school senior at The IDEAL School in Manhattan.
Photo by Milette Millington

Jason Browne, an 18-year-old high school senior of Caribbean descent at The IDEAL School in Manhattan, is helping feed the needy by organizing a canned food drive with fellow students at his school.

“Seeing family and friends succeed at what they planned out for their life motivates me,” added Browne.

His dad is from the island of St. Kitts, while his mom is from Honduras, and her first language is Spanish. His mom came to the United States at the age of 13, while his dad came to the United States younger than that.

Another unique fact about his mom is that she has the heritage of the Garifuna people. The Garifuna, also known as Black Carib people, are “the descendants of the African survivors of human cargo ships that were wrecked off the island of St Vincent around 1675,” according to Minority Rights Group International (MRGI).

Browne has lived in Central Harlem for 10 years with his parents. He likes the neighborhood because of “the sense of community, and people being able to come together and connect with each other.”

He has been a member of the school’s Student Council for two years now. Last year, he was the equity/ inclusion leader, and now he is the vice president. He said it’s been a very enjoyable experience, and the people who come out to support the Council’s events truly enjoy them.

He became the  inclusion leader through the student council election. “What I accomplished was putting together many school events, like our annual Lunar New Year Assembly and leading our schools’ first ever Culture Day,” Browne said. Another part of this role for him was  ensuring “everybody’s voice was heard and everyone was being properly represented.”

An event that he and his other Council members planned recently was a canned food drive with first grade students. It started on Nov. 1 and ended on Nov. 17. Items collected were donated to the Food Bank for New York City, which has been working to end poverty in the city for four decades now.

“As vice president, I hope to continue to help aid in events and help other student council members achieve their goals. One goal I have achieved this year so far was releasing our schools’ first ever merch.”

Something that makes him happy is playing basketball. “It’s a really great way to meet people,” he continued.  He also has a passion for music, specifically playing drums.

College is what’s next in life for Browne, and at the end of last month, he finished sending in all his college applications. Since he likes building things right now, his current plan is to major in mechanical engineering, but he is open to changing it if he feels the need to.