IN JAMAICA: From gang at JC and Tower Hill, to success at UTech Oneil Josephs shows how bad things can be converted to good ones

BY CHERRIES WILES Sunday Observer writer wilesc@jamaicaobserver.com Sunday, July 15, 2018
It had been over two weeks since Oneil Josephs set foot inside his office, having gone on academic leave. But a sit-down with the Jamaica Observer last Monday called for an earlier than planned return.
At 37 years old, Josephs, who is the director of industrial engineering at the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech), is much heavier than the slender, 'lightweight' figure he described himself as growing up — a trait which he said made him a target for the bigger boys in school, but one which did not stop him from fearlessly defending himself.
“I had a high temper in primary school... and didn't like when people messed around me,” he said. “I was very slim but I didn't want anybody to abuse me, physically and otherwise. And so, I got into a lot of fights.”
During the interview, a reveal of owning an Audi motor vehicle is evidence that he has come a long way from his humble days growing up with his mother and five siblings in Tower Hill, St Andrew, a community known for its history of crime and violence. His well-groomed appearance, eloquent and reasonable speech are a far cry from his past of gang violence, underperformance, and chronic gambling in high school. more