The Watsons’ older daughter, Arianna, joined this family interview via Skype from her dorm room at Northwest Missouri State University. She is a senior there, majoring in interactive digital media, and she hopes to find a job in Missouri after graduation.
She also acted in the Kansas City Black Expo and sings in the school’s Gospel Choir.
While she was a student at DHS, Arianna was in the show choir. She also attended Danville Area Community College for two years before transferring to Northwest Missouri State.
Odette is well known in Danville through her work at the Community Action Agency for the past 10 years. She now holds the position of associate director and oversees the agency’s education services at 11 centers in Vermilion, Ford and Iroquois counties.
“I have always loved my job,” Odette said, “and it allowed me the flexibility to spend time with the girls as they were growing up.”
Odette also volunteers at Laura Lee Fellowship House, helping families and children. She enjoys cooking for individual people in need, and she regularly helps with the Thanksgiving meal for the District 118 Alternative Program.
Odette was born and raised in Jamaica, and her family came to Chicago when she was 9 years old. She said moving to Danville from a big city was a “very big adjustment” for her. “But once we started having a family, I really appreciated living in a small town,” she added.
The Watson family still has many relatives in Chicago, where they love to visit on holidays and other special occasions, and they all are members of New Life Church of Faith in Danville.
Odette loves to cook, and she’s known for the special Jamaican dishes that she makes when the extended family gathers on holidays. She said that most Jamaican food is much spicier than traditional American food. Some of the family favorites are curried goat; spiced bread (sweet fruit bread), which they eat with cheese; lallalou (a leafy green); ackee (fruit); and codfish that has been preserved in salt.