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This Week We Feature Young Professional Kamaal T. Lettsome

Our Young Professional this week is Graphic Designer at law firm Harneys, Kamaal T. Lettsome. Photo: Provided
Our Young Professional proudly holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Atlanta 2015 and a Completed Entrepreneurship Programme sponsored by the Department of Trade. Photo: Provided
Our Young Professional proudly holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Atlanta 2015 and a Completed Entrepreneurship Programme sponsored by the Department of Trade. Photo: Provided
‎Kamaal T. Lettsome has a passion for healthy living and believes in working out and staying in shape. 'Take care of your body now so it will take care of you later,' he advises. Photo: Provided
‎Kamaal T. Lettsome has a passion for healthy living and believes in working out and staying in shape. 'Take care of your body now so it will take care of you later,' he advises. Photo: Provided
Kamaal (left) and his twin brother Kameel. Photo: Provided
Kamaal (left) and his twin brother Kameel. Photo: Provided
Our Young Professional for this week can be considered a ‘gentle giant’ as he possesses an enviable physique but beneath the bulging chests is a heart of a gentleman. Added to that, he displays a maturity beyond his age, is passionate about his craft, ambitious, creative and committed to his profession as a Graphic Designer at law firm Harneys. Photo: Provided
Our Young Professional for this week can be considered a ‘gentle giant’ as he possesses an enviable physique but beneath the bulging chests is a heart of a gentleman. Added to that, he displays a maturity beyond his age, is passionate about his craft, ambitious, creative and committed to his profession as a Graphic Designer at law firm Harneys. Photo: Provided
Our Young Professional, Kamaal T. Lettsome enjoys hanging out with his friends. Photo: Provided
Our Young Professional, Kamaal T. Lettsome enjoys hanging out with his friends. Photo: Provided
By Cathy O. O. Richards

Our Young Professional for this week can be considered a ‘gentle giant’ as he possesses an enviable physique, yet beneath the bulging chests is a heart of a gentleman.

Added to that, he displays a maturity beyond his age, is passionate about his craft, ambitious, creative and committed to his profession as a Graphic Designer at law firm Harneys.

This man is Mr Kamaal T. Lettsome, who believes that in order for him to achieve his goals within the given period he has set himself he must continuously improve himself and that whatever failures that may come his way he must take them as invaluable learning experiences and chances to improve even further.

Kamaal comes from an extended family that includes two brothers and three sisters. "I would like to think that I am the middle child of my parents but I say that loosely as I have a fraternal twin brother so we share the title."

He has much gratitude for his grandparents (now deceased) who he said were always there for him when his parents could not and taught him valuable lessons which today help him maneuver through life.

Academic achievements

Relating that he always did well in school once he applied himself, Kamaal said his educational journey started at the Althea Scatliffe Primary School from where he graduated with honours. He then entered the BVI High School (BVIHS) and graduated with high honours. His next move was to the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) where he graduated in 2004.

Our Young Professional proudly holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Atlanta 2009 and a Completed Entrepreneurship Programme sponsored by the Department of Trade. "I grew up with a love for art and have been drawing ever since the moment I could barely grasp a pencil. I loved using my hands and figuring things out, whether it is a computer problem, design problem or building and putting things together with my hands such as furniture pieces."

Artistic entrepreneur

With his love for Graphic Designing, Kamaal streamlined himself into a career to suit such. "Currently my career path involves Graphic Design and Photography, both of which I am able to perform and refine at my primary job as well as in my own business Epic Designs and Photography Studio," he said. He also has a love for illustration and is currently working on improving that skill so that it may be added to his list of services offered. "I love design, I love photography, I love illustration and I attempt to utilise them in different aspects of my life on a regular basis besides just in my career," he stressed emotionally.

He shared that his passion for his career began during his childhood days. "As a child I was always fascinated with the world of art and knew that whatever I grew up to do would have to revolve around art. Funny enough I had a brief stint of focusing on becoming a Computer Engineer because of my love of working with my hands and figuring things out."

But whilst still attending HLSCC, he had a conversation with one of his cousins, Birch Lettsome, who had just returned from a trip to Atlanta when he conveyed to him his desire to do Graphic Design. It was at this point where all the bells went off in his head signaling his return to the world of art. "I don’t really have any one person that inspires me in Graphic Design; it’s more the love of good design and the desire and need to create. While studying Graphic Design in Atlanta I was required to take photography class as part of my programme and through that class I found a love for photography."

Inspiration & competition

He also made mention of some inspirational figures in his life. "There are a number of photographers who inspire me and make me want to strive to continually improve upon the art; among them I would say Kevon Richardson (for his fashion photography) and Khari Adams (for his event and landscape photography), both are closer to my age and this fact makes me want to work harder to have my work rival theirs and maybe surpass them eventually, because let’s face it, how can we truly hope to improve our craft without great inspiration and healthy competition both of which I get from them?"

Looking ahead to the next 5-10 years, Kamaal sees himself working fulltime for his own business and probably involved in a couple other business ventures at that point as well. “I have surrounded myself with a few like-minded and career driven individuals (three in particular I have collaborated with) and we strive to inspire each other as well as push each other to be the best at whatever ventures we undertake. We understand that making excuses never solves the problem whatever it is and only by accepting responsibility for whatever setbacks that may come our way and figuring out how to move past them can we all truly grow as individuals, both personally and professionally."

Taking care of self

On the social side of things, our young professional enjoys hanging out with friends, trying new foods, cooking and working out, among other things. ‎He says he has a passion for healthy living and believes in working out and staying in shape. "Take care of your body now so it will take care of you later."

This for him means minimising the used of canned and bottled juices and sodas, saying a big no to fast foods, eating out as less as possible and doing his own cooking as often as possible.

It is fascinating and beautiful that a young man with such a huge physique is full of humility and has a passion for the arts. This includes singing and poetry.

Kamaal enjoys singing with a Christian group known as the Acappella Fellas, who he has been with for more than 10 years. "I also admire the different artistic aspects of fashion. I write poetry as well as sketch."

More inspiration

Being the purpose driven individual he is, Kamaal spoke about his heroes and sources of inspiration. "My heroes are my parents who taught me patience and hard work, Steve Harvey for his motivational speaking and outlook on life, and Professor Devin Robinson from whom I learned much about entrepreneurship in the programme sponsored by the Trade Department. I also draw inspiration from the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” written by Robert Kiyosaki. This book helped to broaden my perspective on life, finances and business. I would recommend everyone to read this book no matter what walk of life you may be in. In general, I draw inspiration from the world around me because I have truly learnt that the world is a willing and able teacher as long as we are willing to open ourselves up to the lessons it is offering us."

Inspiration for the youth

Kamaal also believes he has a responsibility to encourage others and shared a few words for the Virgin Islands youth.

"I think as a community we have placed so much negativity on failing that it has become somewhat of a taboo and thus most people tend to give up or lose hope when presented with it. While failing is never a good feeling, I think it does truly provide us with one of the greatest chances for growth. Rather than view failure fearfully and shamefully, we must look at it as a breakdown of where we may have fallen short or what our weak points are, and from that point we can work on refining and improving ourselves."

He said one way to engage in this process is to accept responsibility for when things go wrong instead of making excuses. "If we as youths can learn to look at ourselves objectively and accept and own our failures when they occur, we are able to grow exponentially in so many different ways."

"Your ability to rise after failing shows your tenacity to be successful. It shows you have real backbone. It shows you have not allowed your failures to define you but instead refine you. So don’t be afraid to fail, don’t be afraid to own your failure, accept it, learn from it and move forward. There is a saying that says ‘smooth seas never made a skillful sailor’. So can you truly be a strong person, a tenacious person in a life without trials or failures? I think not. So once again, if you fail, fail gracefully, fail in a grandeur manner. Then own it, make no excuses, take the lesson and rise above the you of yesterday."

Our Young Professional is aware that his journey to making his dreams a reality would not entail day dreaming but by putting those broad shoulders to the wheel. “One of my personal quotes I live by is ‘I am foolish enough to dream, but smart enough to know that no dream can be attained without hard work’.”

16 Responses to “This Week We Feature Young Professional Kamaal T. Lettsome”

  • zoe (14/08/2015, 08:51) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    you go boy!
  • Truth (14/08/2015, 09:39) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    he's pretty cute, I love his smile and this is a great article. I wish him well in whatever he puts his mind to.
  • cay (14/08/2015, 10:56) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    he is a good yute and decent young man Kudos on making VINO
  • Canadian (14/08/2015, 11:20) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good Look Bro
  • Boss Lady (14/08/2015, 11:54) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Congratulations Kamaal - "heart of a gentleman" is absolutely correct!
  • Good vibes (14/08/2015, 13:28) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Kudos Mr Lettsome! very bright vision and positive thoughts..i hope BVI youth should follow your footsteps and advocate.
  • POPINZ (14/08/2015, 13:56) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I AM SOOOO PROUD OF YOU.. I WISH MANY MORE SUCCESSFUL JOURNEYS. I KNOW IT DOESNT STOP HERE FOR YOU. YOU'VE BEEN AN INSPIRATION TO ME, A GREAT MENTOR, GREAT FRIEND, A PERSON I CAN TEXT CALL WHEN IM IN DYING NEED OF AN HONEST BRUTAL LOL SOMETIMES HUMBLE OPINION, THUS BEING NO MATTER WHAT TIME, AS LONG AS YOU WASNT WORKING OR BUSY DOING 100 OF YOUR HOBBIES LOL.. YOU TRULY DESERVE THIS GLORIOUS MOMENT! AND YES HE TRULY IS A GREAT LEADER, HUMBLE GIANT, GREAT PERSONALITY AND SOO MUCH MORE... MUCH LOVE MY FRIEND AND ONCE AGAIN ALL IN THE BEST IN YOUR FUTURE ENDEAVOURS!!
  • Aquaintance (14/08/2015, 14:35) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Great article, all the best in your endeavours dear!
  • i salute you (14/08/2015, 17:10) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Congratulations Kamaal! All the best as you reach for your dreams.
  • Fellow Poet (14/08/2015, 18:48) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Great article. Keep it positive. Waiting to hear more of your work at next week's reading.
  • cris (14/08/2015, 20:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Great read Kamaal, hope many young men within this community is inspiration by you.
  • west (14/08/2015, 23:11) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    kAMALL YOU HIT THE JACK POT ANOTHER STRONG BLACK MAN MOVING ON UP!
  • Shen (15/08/2015, 14:18) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Great article, stay positive!
  • Princess (17/08/2015, 15:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Awesome article!!! Well done Kamaal xx
  • Kim (16/09/2015, 14:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    nice


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