HERITAGE: Trinidad &Tobago
CATEGORY: Public Service Leadership
PROFESSION/ORGANIZATION: Deputy Communications Director,US House of Representatives/
Empowerment Awakening Resource Center Homework Center
Arika Trim, a native of Goldsborough, Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago, is the only 30 under 30 honoree to receive the Institute of Caribbean Studies’ public service leadership award.
Arika has served as a public servant in the United States government for the past five years, working on a wide range of national and global priorities in the areas of agriculture, education, and labor. She has always desired to give back to her village in Tobago and to the island as whole, and is working to ensure that she’s able to share and provide her expertise in strategic communications and commitment to evidence-based work with the island’s children, youth, and community leaders.
Arika recently launched, along with her mother, local educators, and community leaders, the Empowerment Awakening Resource Center Homework Center. The center currently operates in the eastern part of Tobago, serving the children and youth of the Pembroke, Glamorgan, Goodwood, and Goldsborough community, providing afterschool homework assistance, and other educational resources and support. The Center was launched to offer a safe space for children and youth to get the support they need with their classwork, the exposure they need to develop their worldview, and the guidance they need to grow into grounded young individuals.
Arika attended kindergarten, primary, and secondary school in Tobago until she immigrated to the United States at the age of 14. She then attended high school in Maryland—as part of the school’s science and technology program—where she was actively engaged in music performance arts and team sports, including captain for her high school’s varsity volleyball team. She then went on to study at Lee University in Tennessee where she studied communications, worked as a teaching assistant, and served as a community leader and mentor.
Following university, Arika served as an intern to former United States First Lady, Michelle Obama. She then went on to work for President Barack Obama while he served as president and she currently serves the Deputy Communications Director for the U.S. House of Representatives committee that has jurisdiction over the nation’s federal programs on education and labor issues.
Trim believes that Trinidad and Tobago’s future depends on its ability to make sure all children and youth have access to quality and diverse learning opportunities that lead to in-demand and well-paying jobs, and sustainable entrepreneurship opportunities.