Rachael Hernandez is the founder and director of Maica Impact Inc. A mother of two, and a graduate of York University, she has been a secondary school teacher within the Toronto District School Board since 2006. Her parents, along with her brother were born in Jamaica and immigrated to Canada in the late 1970s.
Throughout her childhood, Rachael and her family took annual trips to Jamaica visiting family in St. Elizabeth, Kingston, and Mandeville where she was exposed to poverty stricken families and communities alike. Rachael's passion for helping and serving others grew and she began enlisting the help of others in the collecting of supplies from friends, family, and businesses in her community to send to various institutions in Jamaica.
Rachael continued to help various institutions in Jamaica for 4 years before her passion turned into a vision, and then a reality in 2011 when she registered Maica Impact Inc. Rachael continues to teach in Scarborough while running the organization, and continues to embody her organization's slogan: Reach Out, by Giving Back, So That Others May Rise Above! Together we can...Maica Impact!
Richard Alexander Barnett, the third of eight children, was born in 1951 in Black River hospital, Jamaica, and grew up in a little village called Flagaman. The name always causes a chuckle or a quizzical look from those who have never heard of it. Apparently, they did "flog" a man who dared to pass through the village.
His parents were poor, but God-fearing Christians whose lives certainly influenced his life. They went away to England to work, so that he could attend school and get an education. During that time, he was raised by his grandparents. His grandmother hailed from Spanish Honduras, then moved to Cuba where she met his grandfather, and the rest is history.
In Flagaman, and I suspect, in most other country villages in Jamaica at that time, there was no running water (except during heavy rains), and no electricity. When night fell, it was really dark! Studying at night was a challenge, for occasionally, the old oil lamp would grow dim and one had to trim the wick for it to brighten up again. By the time you had finished studying, that lamp had been trimmed a few times.
After attending Pedro Plains public school, Richard moved to Christiana to live with his aunt. He won a scholarship to Munro College, graduating in 1969, and immediately went to work for the national airline, Air Jamaica. In 1978 he immigrated to Canada, and was hired by Air Canada in 1979. He worked for them until he retired in February 2012.
One of my great passions is the well-being of children wherever they may be on this earth. I pray for them constantly, and would like to do more. This is why I have joined MAICA IMPACT. This charitable organization has been established for the purpose of improving the lives of people through health, education, and nutrition. Since people helped me along the way, together, let us Maica Impact by giving back.-Richard Barnett Sr.
Ilana Munroe is one of the founding members of Maica Impact Inc. Sharing in Rachael's vision, she is propelled by her opportunities to participate in service and mission trips in North and Central America, her experience as a teacher - working in a variety of socio-economic neighborhoods - and her Jamaican heritage, to make a tangible difference in the lives of those around her.
Ilana grew up in the Toronto area and attended schools in Markham and North York in her early years. A graduate from York University with an Honours degree in English and a Bachelor of Education, she is enthusiastic about the power of words and the purpose of community. Her volunteer work in her church community has also spurred her on to recognize that blessings received by The Lord, must be shared. It is her desire to positively impact those around her using her knowledge and skills to the best of her ability.
Marie Smith-Mitchell is a mother, wife and strong supporter in helping with the changes in the healthcare and education sector in Jamaica. As the child of Jamaican parents, her strong roots and memorable times in Jamaica has this organization close at heart.
She is currently working in Logistics and Supply Chain for the past seven years in various positions, and is currently an Exceptions Analyst.
As a board member of Maica Impact, she looks forward to the improvements and developments that can be implemented in Jamaica, and with the support and structure of dedicated individuals, she aspires to help in any way she can.
Jean Barnett was born in 1955 in St. Andrew, Jamaica and is the fourth of ten children for the late Ronald and Ruth Coombs. The family's home was located in Kent Village, St. Catherine on a large dairy and citrus farm.
Jean's mother Mrs. Ruth Coombs served her beloved country Jamaica as a journalist for over thirty five years and had a very deep love and compassion for under privileged children, especially in the area of early childhood education. Mrs. Coombs used her influence and resources in this area for a number of years until her passing in 2005.
Jean worked at Grace, Kennedy & Co. for 5 years before immigrating to Canada in 1978. A mother of three children, she worked in the Banking industry for approximately 20 years prior to retiring. With her mother's strong influence coupled with her personal, spiritual convictions that we are "Our brother's keeper", she considers it an honor to be a part of the great work embarked upon by Maica Impact, which allows her to give back to Community/Country.
Jennifer Malcolm is a mother of four. Born in Trinidad & Tobago, she moved to Canada in 1976. She has worked in the financial industry for the past 30 years. Currently, she is working and servicing the education community with their financial needs since 2003. She is very passionate about giving back to those in need in the same way God has blessed her throughout her life. "It is my honour and privilege to be a part of this organization."