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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, February 8, 2023
HomeNewsArchivesOff-Island Profile: Edward Mitchell

Off-Island Profile: Edward Mitchell

Aug. 19, 2007 — Edward Mitchell was a typical teen growing up in an area of St. Croix most would charitably describe as “rough." He got into scrapes in school, followed the wrong crowd and somehow escaped serious trouble.
But he turned out anything but typical. On the mainland, Mitchell, 30, has pursued a career in banking that has led him to his present job, working for CitiGroup in their Anti-Money Laundering Unit in Tampa, Fla., while studying toward a master's degree in business administration.
His next goal? Returning to St. Croix to run for the V.I. Senate.
“I think young people who have moved off-island should come back home to live," Mitchell said. “The advantages are that you are surrounded by family and friends and you have an opportunity to contribute to the advancement and success of our people and our island.
"The disadvantages is that there are not enough job opportunities and cost of goods is not regulated by our government, so there is cost inflation. We must welcome our college graduates that return home and provide on-the-job training so they could contribute to the advancement of the islands.”
Mitchell's story can stand as a model for troubled youth, an example that one’s life can be turned around.
Growing up in Estate Williams Delight, Mitchell was surrounded by unsavory lifestyles. Crime and drugs were commonplace. If not for the good foundation given to him by his parents Francis and Fedina Edward, his life could have ended up down a very different path.
“My parents worked hard and did everything in their power to raise me right, but the streets got a hold of me,” he said.
Mitchell’s road to success was fraught with challenges. His school life was a constant battle with authority.
“Like many teens I felt making my name known, building a bad boy reputation, and representing my 'hood was important, but it came with consequences,” Mitchell said.
“Junior high school for me was my hardest school years, because like many teens you’re trying to determine or identify who you are and want to be,” Mitchell said.
“You’re looking for role models outside your home who are unfortunately sometimes the neighborhood drug dealers, stickup person, or thief, who are sadly victims of bad situations themselves. You’re easily influenced by television and music which can promote criminal activity."
The fourth of five children, several of Mitchell’s older siblings had already left St. Croix to attend college by the time he got to high school. But his grades and attendance deteriorated, and he was forced to withdraw and attend night school.
Finally, his parents made the decision to send him to live with an older sister in Florida.
In a new environment, Mitchell apparently was able to focus on school, and his life started to turn around.
He graduated high school with a 3.6 GPA and went on to community college, later attending the University of South Florida where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology.
Since then, Mitchell has worked in a variety of capacities for JP Morgan Chase, the stock brokerage company of Gunn Allen Financial and Countrywide Financial.
Mitchell has his sights set on returning to St. Croix and utilizing his life experience to make a positive change.
"As a senator I would work to create new jobs, support and provide funding for small business, fund and support vocational programs for young adults, work with and provide funding for law to create new jobs, support and provide funding for small business, vocational programs, law enforcement, and seek tourist attractions to boost the economy,” Mitchell said.
Additionally, he said, he would regulate government spending, provide funding for education and increase teachers' pay.
He advises young people to “stay positive even when most of what they’ve done was negative. Never give up. There’s no limit to what you can accomplish as long as you work hard for it.”
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