by Kavin Carter, Class of 2018

Providence is proud of its expanding student body and in recent years, the international student population has also begun to expand, with students coming from the United Kingdom, Africa, Mexico, Canada and Jamaica. One of these students is Javier Scott.

Javier

Javier Scott (photo by Kavin Carter)

Javier Anthony Beswick Scott is an international student who grew up in the town of Portmore, Saint Catharine, Jamaica, and is a sophomore at Providence aspiring to communication and business concentrations. Javier runs on the Providence cross country team and has also competed in several individual track events throughout his college running career. He has run the 800m, 1500m, 5000m, 5k, 8k, and half marathon.

Javier started running at the age of 12 when he saw his friends at track practice one day and wanted to hang out with them. But he didn’t really take running seriously until he was 16 when he realized that running could provide him with scholarship opportunities. “I thought I could even be the next Usain Bolt” he said with a smile. In 2015 he was ranked the 6th fastest person in Jamaica in his respected division. His favorite race is the 800m, but he feels that he in his best element when running the 1500m.

Javier grew up in “what you would call the ghettos” he said. From the age of six, his grandmother raised him brought him into the church, instilling in him the values of hard work and discipline. The neighborhood he grew up in wasn’t the best “people would tell me that where I lived was dangerous but it didn’t seem dangerous to me, it was just sort of a stigma placed around the community” he said. As he was growing up he was never tempted to join the local gangs or get involved with drugs.

At the age of four Javier witnessed his mother being killed. For a long time after this, he wanted nothing but revenge. He was angry and in pain, “my grandmother would talk to me constantly and take me to church, and eventually when I got older I wasn’t so angry anymore”. Javier would go to church and mimic everything the pastor would say and do, he did it so much that he was even given the nickname “pastor”. Javier says “I couldn’t read until the age of 12 and I hated Sunday school because I couldn’t read.” But eventually, he learned to read, he started learning more about God and finally accepted Christ into his heart, and was baptized on the same day in May 2006.

When he was looking for colleges to attend, he hadn’t even thought of Providence. His goal was to attend an division one school in America; he also had received several scholarships with full rides to colleges in Jamaica. Unfortunately, his SAT scores fell slightly short, so he turned his attention to NAIA institutions in other countries. “I had a choice of studying in Canada and the U.S., and I didn’t want to go to Canada because it’s cold there”, he joked. He found Providence online and emailed the Admission office, “for three months straight almost every week I talked to someone in the Admissions office” he said. Three weeks before classes started he still wasn’t sure that he wanted to come to Providence or that everything he needed to come to the US would fall into place. “I prayed to God and trusted that I was making the right choice.” he said. Javier got his U.S visa one day before classes started and he’s been grateful about his choice ever since.

“Professors here are amazing, I can go and talk to Dr. Cunningham about anything” he said, “and Prof. Uwarow’s English class is by far my favorite, he has a method of stepping away from the usual way of teaching and going into the unusual, he really gets down to your level and relates to you, he’s just a savage, and its great!”.

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Javier with his Cross Country teammates and coach

After College Javier plans on using his skills to be a sports analyst and a sports journalist, in addition to being a coach. He hasn’t figured out yet if he wants to work in the states or back home in Jamaica, but one thing is certain;  no matter where he goes he’s going to do great things.

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