Alton Bailey

[totaldonations-recent-donors title=’Donations’ campaign=’2020 Prom Court – Alton Bailey’]

Like some of the children and youths in HANDY, Alton Lloyd Bailey Jr. also grew up with neglect, trauma, and abuse, not afforded the natural opportunity to be who and all he wanted to be. Born and raised in a small village community called Cox Street in the parish of Saint Mary; Alton experienced many struggles. He was poor and his family lived without clean, running water. Electricity was sporadic and power would go out 2-3 times a week, mainly because they had to steal electricity, living on land that was not owned by his family. Some nights they would have no choice but to go to bed without dinner. Alton endured all that, for over half his childhood without the presence of his mother, as she had emigrated to the US following a bitter divorce. Alton remained behind with his father who was a smoker with a gambling addiction and sadly had to hide and endure being gay while living in one of the most homophobic countries in the world.

That did not stop Alton from pursuing what he wanted. He excelled in school and was very talented with Visual Arts, doing drawings for money to afford school supplies. He joined the JCCF (Jamaica Combined Cadet Force) his freshman year of high school and 2 years later the JCCF leader, Nicholas Taylor, gave Alton his first job painting schools in the community. Then after, in 2012 Alton worked a summer job in partnership with his Visual Arts teacher, Christine Spencer, to decorate the NWC (National Water Commission) buildings in the North East region of the country on the occasion of Jamaica’s celebration of 50 Years of independence. Alton was fortunate to cross paths with Christine and Nicholas who became parental figures helping him tremendously with life throughout high school.

Alton continued working very hard and moved out of his community one day after his 17th birthday and only one week after graduation to start his first official job. Alton never looked back, moving up the ranks of work and volunteered at Dr. David Lambert’s office at times as his assistant. Dr. Lambert would become another father figure. Shortly thereafter, Alton still only 19, moved to the Dominican Republic where he came out as gay to his parents on a conference call. By age 21 Alton moved to the United States where he had to start over again yet again. Now, Alton Lloyd Bailey Jr. works with Sterling Accounting and the WMEG (Wilton Manors Entertainment Group) and volunteers at Southern Sands Design always looking to broaden his horizons, give back and progress in life.

If Alton did not have the life lessons and support of Nicholas Taylor, Christine Spencer, Dr. David Lambert, Marcus Koch, and Roman Cody Foster, he might not be out, proud, strong, self-supporting, independent and driven to succeed in life. That is why organizations like HANDY are important to the community and exist for youths who don’t have natural or family support systems to help them get on or remain on the right track. I am honored and humbled to be representing Southern Sands Design this year to raise money for this organization and the Children.