She’s a creative with an entrepreneurial flair.
Alicia ‘Shadeeza’ Buckley lives with Down’s Syndrome, a genetic disorder caused by a baby being born with an extra chromosome. She received a grant this year through the Jamaica Down’s Syndrome Foundation (JDSF), a non-profit organization established in 2007. The JDSF was a beneficiary of the Digicel Foundation’s 5K Run in 2018.
Although she was unable to progress to tertiary level, due to the lack of programmes for persons with Down’s Syndrome, the vibrant 23-year-old did not let challenges stand in her way. She is an artist, a budding entrepreneur — and a mesmerizing dancer, with a big smile. She used the JDSF grant to purchase supplies for her art business. She took art classes at Sanaa Studios in Kingston and developed her skills, with the full support of her family.
Shadeeza paints with acrylics on paper. Her eye-catching work glows with bright colours. She especially loves painting natural subjects — animals and landscapes — as well as abstract art. Shadeeza has her own Instagram page (@shadeezabuckley), where you can see more of her work — and buy.
When she wants to unwind, Shadeeza loves to dance. Her sister Shemona says: “She has natural rhythm. She is a really good performer.” She has performed at the annual JDSF Charity Concert, to loud cheers. She has had to slow down somewhat recently, as she has a sprained ankle, but will soon be back on the dance floor.
By the way, you may spot Shadeeza at the Jamaica Down’s Syndrome Foundation booth at the Digicel Foundation 5K Run on Saturday (Oct 5). In case you do not recognize her — we should let you know that she loves to change her hair colour quite regularly. For your information, it is currently blue!
The Digicel 5K Run for Special Needs will commence at the Digicel headquarters on 14 Ocean Boulevard in downtown Kingston at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday. With over 12,000 entrants last year, the Digicel 5K raised J$10 million, which was donated to several Jamaican special needs institutions. It is made possible with the support of Running Events Jamaica, Tru-Juice, WATA, Honey Bun, Express Fitness, Jamaica Producers Group, Really Great Yogurt, and Excelsior Water Crackers.