Jamaican helping troubled youth in Canada rise above their circumstances

Carlos Tomlinson and his wife Sophia.

Only three years after arriving in Alberta Canada, Carlos Tomlinson is already making an impact on the lives of troubled youth through his compassionate spirit and his desire to see them rise above negative circumstances.

Working with youth is one of the numerous passions of the Jamaican who is not afraid to step out on the streets — sunshine or snow — to minister and counsel. Tomlinson has spent 20 of his 46 years either in the classroom as a teacher having studied at Mico Teachers College or as a guidance counsellor with firm footing from the Jamaica Theological Seminary. For him, reaching out to youth is a gift and one that he intends to maximize even further in his journey.

“Having had a lot of life experiences including Christian-related ones, I hope that I can mentor youths that I encounter throughout my journey in life, Tomlinson told BUZZ. “My main message to them would be for them to believe that they can achieve greatness regardless of their beginnings and setbacks.”

‘Sometimes you come across kids who will try to hit you but you have to know how to deal with them.’

— Carlos Tomlinson

Tomlinson has dealt with a number of kids and young adults who have gone through abuse of various kinds; some who even felt the only way out was suicide. But as a Christian who believes in God’s leading, Tomlinson does his part and watch God do the rest. “Sometimes you come across kids who will try to hit you but you have to know how to deal with them. I am very passionate about kids and especially those who have been through difficult situations. Even in the church there is so much need and sometimes you don’t know unless you talk to persons on a one and one basis.”

One could say he was ordained to serve in his present role as a youth and family counsellor. Even while attending Wolmer’s Boys School in Jamaica, his dream was of being in ministry and serving others.

He got this opportunity two years after moving to Canada in 2016. Tomlinson, who strongly believes that Christian counsellors are needed in the province, is now working on becoming a certified teacher in Alberta and is interested in pursuing post-graduate education with the aim of becoming a registered counsellor. His aim is to establish his own counselling practice. “…if I can help 10 people not to commit suicide, or 10 people out of their depression or 10 people find hope, it may not be a 100 but that is still a good thing,” he added.

Article written by Donna Hussey-Stewart