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Project LIFE’s George Mack Visits His Jamaican Roots

It’s summertime. Kids are home from school, and adults start dreaming about vacation. In this post, we’re taking a summer break to highlight the vacation of UMFS Independent Living Consultant George Mack.

George works on the Project LIFE program in UMFS’ Northern Virginia Regional Center in Alexandria. Project LIFE (Living Independently, Focusing on Empowerment) helps youth in Virginia succeed when they age out of foster care. Independent living consultants like George do that by helping youth in foster care avoid homelessness, helplessness, and hopelessness by giving them the knowledge and support they need to get jobs, continue school, live decently, and give back to their communities.

George Mack grew up in New York but he enjoyed hearing about his roots from his grandparents, who immigrated from Jamaica. When he was 11, he visited the island for the first time. Now that his daughter Naiima is 10, George and his wife Nakia decided it was time for them to introduce her to Jamaica as well.

Naiima enjoyed meeting her Jamaican cousins and aunts while visiting the towns of Negril and Montego Bay. George also enjoyed sharing Jamaican cuisine with his family. His favorite is ackee and salt fish for breakfast. “It’s a must-have!”

When they weren’t busy visiting their Jamacian relatives, the Mack family enjoyed spending time at the Grand Palladium Resort. They had fun swimming, and Naiima really enjoyed the giant water slides.

George’s favorite activity was riding an ATV along the beautiful Jamaican coastline. Naiima is still too young to drive an ATV. That’s a great reason for her to return to the island for a future family visit.