Motivating students to Live a Life of Purpose

Over the first two weeks of the calendar year, many school students across Anguilla were inspired by the ‘Living a Life of Purpose School Tour’ organized by Avern Gumbs. It is her desire to inspire children and young individuals and provide the support and motivation she had to either dream or act upon her dreams.

Who is Avern Gumbs?

Avern Gumbs is an alumni of the Prophecy Preschool, Valley Primary School, Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School (ALHCS) and Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia.

She is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Public Policy and is the Assistant Tennis Coach for the Clark Atlanta University Women’s Tennis team.


The School Tour – Choosing the age groups

Over the course of January 2nd – 8th, 2018 Avern visited the Prophecy Pre-School, all of the Grade 6 Primary School classes, all ALHCS Third Form classes and the Form 6A students. While brainstorming the idea, she prayed and thought about the most effective ways of handling each age group.

These age groups are transitional and pivotal moments throughout the levels of education here in Anguilla.

  • preschool to primary school,
  • primary school to high school,
  • 6th form to the working world or university.

It was with these age groups that she shared motivational speeches on dreaming and achieving goals which would in turn help lead the youth towards living a purposeful life.

Living a Life of Purpose School Tour Booklet
Living a Life of Purpose School Tour Booklet (Front)

Living a Life of Purpose School Tour Booklet
Living a Life of Purpose School Tour Booklet (Back)

Carrying out the tour

Preschool Level

Avern Gumbs

At the preschool level, she inspired the little children like she once was to “Climb to the top of the Mountain” through an originally written and self-narrated story.

The main character being a baby Tiger who dreamt of and applied herself and defied odds to reach the top of the mountain that was ‘off limits’ because of an alligator residing at its base. And by so doing, others were encouraged to climb as well.

Primary School Level

At the Primary School level, her presentations were based on her creation and published work booklet for the enthused Grade 6 students which highlighted the acronym DR. ADS (Dream, Respect, Appreciation, Discipline and Sacrifice).

ALHCS – 3rd Form

Albena Lake Hodge Comprehensive School 3rd Form
Albena Lake Hodge Comprehensive School 3rd Form

During the time allotted for 3rd Form Physical Social Health Education (PSHE) at the ALHCS, Avern conducted 40-minute interactive presentation sessions with the students and created an intimate atmosphere where the youth felt open to ask and discuss questions as they viewed an animated Prezi Presentation on the same five characteristics for achieving GREATNESS!

ALHCS – 6th Form

The ALHCS 6A students, were treated with a 6-member panel which Ms. Gumbs orchestrated to provide energy, synergy and balance.

The lively and transparent discussion covered youthful experience in three broad areas: Professional (Chelsey Hughes & Jibri Lewis), Sports (Coleen Johnson & Avern Gumbs) and Entertainment (Omari Banks & Jaiden Fleming).

Panel (L-R): Avern Gumbs, Jibri Lewis, Chelsey Hughes, Coleen Johnson & Omari Banks
Panel (L-R): Avern Gumbs, Jibri Lewis, Chelsey Hughes, Coleen Johnson, Jaiden Fleming & Omari Banks

This was a creative way of incorporating other millennials who are relatable to the upcoming generation and who exemplify qualities of goal achievement and purposeful living.

The panel discussion lasted 2 hours as they covered questions which related to the 5 keys to success: dreaming, being respectful, being appreciative, having discipline and being willing to sacrifice.

Prophecy Preschool
Prophecy Preschool

In order to make the Living A Life Of Purpose School Tour  become a reality, overwhelming support was given by Clark Atlanta University Public Administration Department, Teacher Rhonda Connor, Rebecca Haskins and the Department of Education Staff, the ALHCS Deputy Principal-Pastoral Mrs. Rita Celestine Carty and Pastoral Department Staff, all the Head Teachers and Grade 6 Teachers of the Primary Schools,  the panelists,  family and close friends,  and most importantly the children for being attentive and receptive to DR. ADS.

In conclusion, Avern expresses encouragement and great thanks to those parents who are doing everything in their power to nurture and propel their child/children towards greatness.

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