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Interview on Palav, Radio Jamaica, 2014

Juleus Ghunta grew up in Hanover, Jamaica. As a young man, he seemed doomed to failure. His mother’s lack of funds made it difficult for her to educate him and his three siblings. As a result, Juleus started formal schooling at age 5; learned to read at age 12 and was forced to repeat the 6th grade. Determined to excel and urged on by his mentor Mike Broome, he matriculated to Rusea’s High, the leading high school in Hanover. There, he received the Student of the Year award in 2005 and was elected Deputy Head Boy and Vice President of the Interact Club in 2006.

These were outstanding achievements for a young man whose childhood was plagued by abuse and neglect. At 14, he was kicked out of his extended family home and spent the next 3 years living on his own. His tenacity and drive brought him much "success". He earned a BA in Media from the University of the West Indies in 2010; received Jamaica’s Prime Minister’s Youth Award for Excellence for his work as a youth advocate in 2013, and the Rotaract Club of Mandeville’s Peace Award for “outstanding leadership” in 2014.

These achievements came against the backdrop of his decade–long struggle with post-traumatic stress (PTS), several strange illnesses, anger and depression. For the last 8 years, he has tried to understand the root causes of these problems. This search led to his journeys to Grenada, Barbados, Dominica, Rwanda; into the Blue Mountains in Jamaica where he meditated for 2 years; Japan where he learned about the connection between childhood adversity and chronic diseases, and most recently, England, where after receiving a Chevening Scholarship to study at the University of Bradford, he wrote his MA thesis on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and storytelling.

An award–winning poet and author, Juleus’ poems and stories have appeared in notable journals across 13 countries. His first picture book, Tata and the Big Bad Bull—a story about overcoming fear with compassion—was published by CaribbeanReads in May 2018.

Juleus' work focuses primarily on ACEs, trauma recovery, toxic masculinity, storyhealing, literacy and creative visualisation. He has delivered speeches on his signature idea, D.R.E.A.M.R.I.G.H.T, to over 10,000 people at 40 organisations across 6 countries. He has been featured on some of Jamaica’s most prominent media programmes including Jamaica Morning, Smile Jamaica, Palav and CVM at Sunrise. He has also appeared on radio and TV programmes in Grenada, Dominica, St Kitts, Japan and England. His energetic and practical presentations inspire audiences to challenge conventions, speak their truth and pursue their goals.

Your speech was inspiring. What stood out the most was the will–power you demonstrated to overcome your challenges. You have motivated me to stay focused in spite of my struggles.
Stacy Munroe
Volunteer, National HIV Programme, Jamaica
Dreamright is a highly visionary concept that everyone needs to embrace. Thank you, Ghunta, for reminding us of our right to dream and make our dreams reality.
Glenford Smith
Author and Motivational Speaker, Jamaica