12-y-o boy commits to refurbishing school in Jamaica

For Immediate Release

Ellerslie Pen, St Catherine (March 22, 2017) – Unlike many 12-year-olds, Rafe Cochran, a resident of the United States, is on a mission to change the lives of hundreds of others.

Having lent his support to needy families and earthquake recovery efforts in Haiti, Cochran has set his sights on the Chester Primary and Infant School in St. Ann. In partnership with Food For The Poor-Jamaica, a new school will be constructed to house the pre-primary students.  

Cochran, one of the charity’s youngest donors, started committing funds to Food For The Poor when he was 9. Back then, he donated funds to build two homes for families in Ganthier, Haiti. He achieved this goal by asking donors to pledge money for shots he made at a golf tournament: $100 for pars, $200 for birdies and $250 for eagles.

At age 10 in 2015, he presented another cheque to the charity, which was used to build a home for a family in Thomazeau, Haiti. In 2016, he organized his first full-fledged golf tournament, the Rafe Cochran Golf Classic at Mayacoo Lakes Country Club in Florida, his home golf course. The event attracted more than 80 golfers and raised enough money to build six double-unit homes in Haiti.

In 2017, Cochran has decided to shift his focus to Jamaican students who are in need, starting with Chester Primary & Infant School.

“I am truly just honoured that I had the chance to come here and help the kids out. I am excited to be able to help the young ones to build a pre-primary school,” Cochran said in an interview during his visit to the school on March 15.

Cochran visited the school on the eve of the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), offering words of encouragement to students.

“Seeing the school for myself, I realized just how needy they were. It was really fun just being with the kids, hearing what they have to say and just having fun with them,” Cochran said. “They told me their goals and I told them that they shouldn’t allow anyone to keep them down.”

Cochran was presented with the charity’s One For Change Award at a fundraising gala held March 3 in Palm Beach, Fla. The goal of this event was to raise funds to construct a school for Mason Hall Primary & Infant School in St. Mary.

David Mair, Executive Director of Food For The Poor-Jamaica, toured Chester Primary & Infant School alongsideCochran. Mair said the charity is pleased that Cochran chose Jamaica to benefit from his 2017 project.

“It was great to meet Rafe and his family and to have them here at Chester Primary & Infant School visiting with the students and staff. They have come here to see how they can help develop the educational system in Jamaica and we really appreciate this gesture,” Mair said. “Rafe is just 12 years old but he has such a dedicated heart to the poor and wanting to improve people’s lives.”

Cochran’s second annual golf course classic is set for April 22 in Florida.

-end-

 Prepared by PROComm

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