Niki Jeane Sanchez, Personality of the Month Award Recipient, (August, 2021)
THE KENRICK MARK COLEMAN FOUNDATION
“Intelligence, Discipline, Wisdom, Excellence”
PERSONALITY OF THE MONTH AWARD
“Recognition for exemplifying the qualities of a Hardworking, Talented, Intelligent, and Deserving Young Belizean”
Niki Jeane Sanchez
Personality of the Month Award Recipient
And now, The Official Interview with Kenrick Mark Coleman!
1. Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up? What was your family like? What three words best describe you? Why?
The interesting thing about this question is that it will always have me thinking exactly, “Who am I or what can I say about myself?”, as I am constantly changing as an individual, obtaining new knowledge and new skillsets. If I would describe who I am, Niki Jeane Sanchez, presently in three words, then it will include being a diligent, a flexible, and an independent learner. Seizing every opportunity to enhance my wisdom has been key in gaining valuable experiences and achieving my goals thus far.
I was born in Belize City on July 16, 1999, at Belize Medical Associates Hospital. My mother’s doctor declared me to be a miracle baby. My mother’s labor was declared an emergency because the umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck, so without hesitation, C-Section was the suitable procedure for a safe delivery for both me and my mom’s health in consideration. Despite raised in a single-parent household, my mother has done a great job in upholding both roles of being a mother and father figure, but she was not in alone. We had a loving community to support us. There is this famous proverb that says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Beside my relatives, I had a second family. Since my mom has been the breadwinner, she had to find a babysitter when I was six months old, which was Mrs. Cruzita Swasey. She was not just a babysitter to me, but a second mom who treated me as if I were her own. Her family became my family as well. It is through her that I have learnt family does not always mean blood-related but who cares for you unconditionally.
My mom’s incredible strength ignited my determined mentality to pursue and achieve anything I strive for. Growing up under a strong matriarchal influence has taught me to be independent and responsible at an early age. My mother heavily emphasized the significance of asking questions; it became the norm during my upbringing, which evidently proved to be a fruitful foundation for my academic performance in various educational levels. Observing my mother’s thirty-one years of experience in the financial sector inspired me to develop my abilities and to yearn for work experience in the accounting industry, an industry emphasized on analytical thinking and hard work.
2. What are your future aspirations?
As for my main future aspiration, I am aspiring to become a Certified Public Accountant and possibly, own an accounting firm in Belize City. The process of achieving this title is not an easy pathway, but with determination and motivation, I know I can accomplish this goal. Receiving the certification for this profession entails completing academic degrees concentrated in accounting and involves preparation towards the Certified Public Accountant Examination, which is a requirement. Therefore, I plan to utilize my multitasking capability by pursuing employment at a local accounting firm while sacrificing my leisure time to study and prepare for the examination.
I would also like to become more immersed in non-profit organizations in Belize, dedicating more of my time to service for my community. Giving back to my country has been another vital aspiration of mine as it highlights the true essence of humility and servant leadership. At the age of seven, my mother began taking me to Sunrise Rotary community service projects, where I assisted Rotary members in painting school bathrooms in rural areas, building and painting playsets for primary schools, painting a community library in the city, and attending annual club fundraisers. Throughout the years while assisting the Sunrise Rotary Club, I have developed a network of friends, more like a second family, which has supported me and mother through any hardship we have encountered. Being the high achiever that I am, I have always yearned to attempt every opportunity to grow as a leader. For this reason, I intend to foster friendships or partnerships with non-profit organizations in the future so that I can be there to lend a helping hand to any person or community in need.
Endeavoring new challenges has never been something that I shy away from. At a young age, I have gotten some feedback from teachers commending me on my style of writing. I never really thought about my writing skills until I came home for Christmas break. My mother randomly suggested that I should write a book. At first, I did not take her remark seriously because I thought it was a joke, but then, I realized I wanted to challenge my writing and take it to the next level. I have always admired and appreciated local Belizean authors for their work that they contributed to the Belizean society, which is why I would like to write a book of my own in the future, once I complete my academic studies. I would like to explore my skills in writing and even, take it to a whole other level.
3. What do you think is one of the major challenges affecting teenagers in Belize today? What is the cause of this challenge and how would you go about correcting the situation?
Mental illness would be one of the most prevalent challenges affecting teenagers in Belize today. I believe that this is a topic that is not really talked about within the community as there may be a stigma developed around the issue. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have witnessed countless times mutual friends on social media, who are in the teenage or early adulthood demographic, liking or sharing posts relating to issues of anxiety and depression while adjusting to the virtual format for school. I empathized with them because I was battling with anxiety as well. Being in a state where I was constantly overwhelmed and worried about adjusting to the new norm was a process. Nevertheless, I thought that maybe the pandemic became a blessing in disguise because it has helped to indicate or to draw attention to a significant matter that often goes unrecognized in today’s younger society.
I think the key solution to this issue would be simply starting the communication from home, normalizing the fact that mental illness is a prominent issue, and raising mental health awareness within the Belizean community. Starting the communication would be a great start, as it could help to deescalate the probability of mental illness cases, whether the communication involves the governmental or educational institutions collaborating with therapists and the Mental Health Department in Belize to advance local efforts in advocating for mental health, or organizing conferences or programs geared towards mental health awareness.
4. Which holiday of the year do you enjoy most? Describe it.
Christmas has been a holiday that I would enjoy the most every year mainly because of the music, family traditions, and food. I adore the fact that around this time I can be able to spend time and build memories with the people that I care about. For the Christmas holidays, my mom and I would always look forward to the Christmas Eve night because we would get dressed up and attend the Christmas Eve mass to sing the Christmas carols and hymns with our friends and family. On Christmas Day, my mom and I would travel to visit my family in Belmopan. We would watch marathons of Christmas movies, eat turkey dinner, bollos, and black cake, as well as listening to music from Love FM or various Christmas albums throughout the day. During these unprecedented times, however, my family and I had to adjust the way we celebrated Christmas together which was done virtually. Thankfully for WhatsApp video calls, we were able to check in with one another and still followed our traditions individually. The Christmas season, nevertheless, has remained to be a valuable reminder to never lose sight of what is important which focuses on strengthening your faith and being grateful for what you have and for the people you have in your life.
5. What is your most memorable experience and why?
Traveling to Washington D.C. would definitely be on the top of my list of memorable experiences. Even though the trip was short, it made a long-lasting impact that I will forever cherish, as it made me realize my love for traveling and encouraged me to believe that the sky is the limit; nothing is impossible. As a former member of the Respect Life Club at Rockhurst University, I was given the opportunity to partake in the March for Life rally. What inspired me the most was the fact that people from all over the US had gathered for a special cause that was important to them. Hearing several testimonies from families were very heartwarming and made the experience more worthwhile.
After the march, my friends and I got to visit some of the famous landmarks such as the United States Capitol Building, Library of Congress, and the Washington Monument.
My favorite landmark would be the Library of Congress because I could not resist from gazing in awe by its structure, exhibits, and cinematic influence. It was during the tour that I found out the movie, National Treasure, was filmed in the actual Library of Congress. Being there was a full-circle moment because when I was younger, I had dreamed to go to Washington D.C because of the movie, Akeelah and the Bee. Looking back at the little moments, I could safely say that it was a pivotal moment of reassurance that I can be successful in anything that I set my mind to.
6. I am really impressed with your biography. Please share with us some of your major achievements.?
My past achievements from high school which included being a Peer Helper, Prefect, and member of the Interact Club, have geared me to push even harder to excel on my current achievements, consisting of BIONIC president, member of Oceana Wavemakers Club, First Aid Club, Vice President of Pledge Education, member of RAKERS Club, Peer Coach, member of Respect Life Club, and Eucharistic Minister, that I have accumulated between St. John’s College Junior College and Rockhurst University. Being granted with the Jesuit Scholarship and recently graduating from Rockhurst University was not an easy ride. It took a lot of determination to be able to accomplish what I did as a student. Once my mind was set on something, I would do it, even if it meant going out of my comfort zone to do so because I knew in the back of my mind that if I did not at least try my best to work towards a certain idea or goal, I would later have regrets. I have learnt throughout the last four years that hard work and resilience results in a positive and rewarding outcome. Although being in a pandemic there were physical constraints that were out of my control, I sought my way through every hurdle because every struggle pushes you to be stronger, which was one of the reasons why I decided to join a school program during quarantine. Even though I was thousands of miles away from my university, I wanted to make the best out of my last two semesters at Rockhurst by being productive in the Peer Coaching program. To cope with anonymity of the pandemic, I wanted to help freshmen during their transition to Rockhurst University, whether it was by talking to them to see how they were doing or offering tutoring assistance in subject areas in which they may encounter challenges. Nonetheless, my major achievements resulted from being persistent in what I wanted to achieve and then overcoming those struggles in between.
7. You recently graduated from Rockhurst University with your Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. Share with us a story of your life at university leading up to the big moment. What’s your secret to succeed? Will you pursue post graduate studies?
My journey as an international student at Rockhurst university had been a series of experiences in life’s lessons that I will hold dear to my heart. There are many times of self-doubt and insecurity but the main thing that kept me focus on fulfilling my purpose at that time was what my mom said to me before she left Kansas City. My mom and I had this inside mantra shared between both of us as I was growing up, that served as a reminder for when things became challenging, we must still prevail above those obstacles. The mantra was “Niki power”. When she said those words, I remembered I needed to do my best and to be true to who I am as a person who is a high achiever.
Being a high achiever did not necessarily only mean focusing on the pertinence of earning A’s or a high GPA, but it meant making the most of my student experience. This included getting involved in school organizations and making connections. I can recall from a leadership course that I took for my last semester at Rockhurst that the most significant measure of your capability as a leader is your network. To do so, I had to become involved in the community so that I can become familiar with school rules, expectations, and mission, so that at the end of my tenure at Rockhurst University, I could learn and understand the essence of being a RU Hawk. For this reason, I decided to go out of my comfort zone to join several school organizations which included Delta Sigma Pi, RAKERS, Eucharistic Ministry, Peer Coach, and Respect Life Club. These organizations taught me many individual strategies and lessons to develop my leadership skills, but what they all had in common was the purpose to serve the community, whether it was the school community, church community, or KC community. The emphasis on service above self was the epitome and the reason why I wanted to be heavily involved in these groups. The inner drive to do more for others, to challenge myself, and to learn how to become comfortable with the uncomfortable, would be the secrets for my success. As for postgraduate studies, I am striving to complete a master’s degree in accounting and finance abroad in the UK. Being able to gain academic knowledge from another country would be a great opportunity as I can become more familiar with a diverse teaching method and curriculum as well as learning about the culture in the country to enrich my studying experience.
My Rockhurst experience would not have been completed if I had not met kindhearted faculty and friends. When I arrived at the Rockhurst University campus, I immediately realized that this educational institution was more than just a university but a second home that would foster long lasting friendships. Like any international student, I indeed struggled with homesickness for the first couple of months, but I eventually overcame it by building bonds I shared with welcoming faculty members such as Ms. Bebe, Ms. Mary, Mr. Bill, and Ms. Emily, with the girls I shared a residence hall, the brothers in the Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity, various school clubs, and church community. The professors at Rockhurst were very helpful and flexible as they offered weekly office hours whenever a student needed help in understanding a concept he or she may be struggling with, providing extra credit, and informing students about internship opportunities, especially during the pandemic. Throughout the unprecedented time of transitioning to a new teaching format, they were aware of the challenges that students were facing with online classes and offered recorded class videos and extended zoom office hour sessions so that students could cope with the studying and lecture mechanisms. I am very lucky to have been able to attend such an amazing university that supported students and created a welcoming environment for students all over the world.
8. In your bio, you mentioned about your participation in many community service initiatives at Rockhurst University. Share with us a story of the various organizations and events you participated in?
There have been so many impactful moments. Each experience in these community service initiatives impacted me in their unique way, but I would say that some initiatives that stuck out to me the most and was privileged to have the opportunity to volunteer at would include Happy Bottoms, Jewish Vocational Service, and One City Café. The initiatives have been so beneficial to the Kansas City community that deserves the most care. The Jewish Vocational Service has been an organization supporting inclusivity that focuses on building better lives for immigrants and refugees, who face employment barriers; their non-profit services have also entailed partnering with Happy Bottoms, which is a diaper bank for families in need. I heard of JVS from taking a Catholic Social Teaching; the professor had included a community service assignment to incorporate both theory and application so that concepts can be thoroughly learnt. As a volunteer, I had the tasks of answering calls and distributing diapers for families. Being able to volunteer for a month opened my eyes to see how much of a difference these organizations make to people’s lives. Hearing some of the personal testimonies from individuals who had no choice but to move to another country for a chance at a better life made me see just how much of a privilege I have living in an independent country.
One City Café was a unique yet special experience because I got to share the volunteer experience with a group of my friends. One City Café initiates assistance from Kansas City community to prepare and serve meals to the people in need. The One City Café at the Bishop Sullivan Center sets a warm ambiance that not only brings joy to the people being welcomed but joy to the volunteers as well. During my volunteer shift, I realized how volunteers were comprised of regular and new individuals who shared the same interest as my friends and I to help and serve in any way possible. My experience at JVS and One City Café amplified my humility.
9. You received many prestigious awards this far. Kindly list all. How did you feel after the many victories? What advice do you have for those who are following in your footsteps?
I am proud that I was recently awarded with Magna Cum Laude honors along with receiving a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, concentration in Accounting, Dean’s List for two years at Rockhurst University, as well as being Eucharistic Minister and elected as Vice President of Pledge Education of the Nu Omega Chapter for Delta Sigma Pi. Achieving these victories felt surreal yet relieving because it made me recognize how much effort I had put in and how I have been able to manage my time wisely to be able to participate in these extra-curricular activities while completing the academic requirement. Being a part of a school activity is one thing but being committed requires a lot of responsibility because that is what makes or breaks your reputation. As an international student, I felt more pressure to prove that I had what it took to be an all-around university student who could still perform and excel academically because I wanted to represent my junior college that I had previously graduated from and my country as well. So, when I do look back at the accomplishments, I do not feel any regret but a sense of pride that I did not stay in my comfort zone. My advice for those following in my footsteps would be to never underestimate your abilities because you will not know what you are capable of unless you put yourself out there and tackle the challenge.
10. Tell us more about your internship at the Port of Belize Ltd? What were the most demanding obstacles? What important lesson did you learn?
My internship at Port of Belize Ltd. initially was a graduation requirement from St. John’s Junior College. So, when choosing the organization for my internship, I considered several factors such as traffic and vicinity because not only did I want to be punctual and make a good impression, but I was also considering my mother’s job as well as I depended on her for transportation. Port of Belize Ltd. was the best option because it was within the vicinity of my mother’s workplace and had an accounting department that performed financial tasks for the shipping organization, so I was interested to learn which accounting method they utilized for the shipping industry. Working as an intern at Port of Belize Ltd. provided me with assurance that I indeed wanted to pursue accounting in the long run, becoming more aware that the accounting profession is my passion. For the first couple of days of internship, I admit, I was nervous, but as the days went by, I became more comfortable with the people I worked with and became more familiar with the responsibilities that were assigned to me. One of my main challenges during my internship was breaking the ice in conversing and becoming more sociable with the workers. As an intern and a student at that time, my main goal was making sure that I did the best in completing my tasks, but what I did not realize was I also had to build a good working relationship with the workers so that the department could operate more efficiently. Therefore, I learnt that in the workforce, there has to be some sort of balance to work diligently and to have a great communicative network with the people you work with because essentially that is what stabilizes a functional working environment.
11. Tell us more about your participation in the BIONIC club at St. John’s College? What projects/events did you pursue? How did your projects ‘stand out’? How has your personal energy and skills impacted people and community development? Were you involved in other clubs/events at SJCJC?
The BIONIC Club became a second family. This club not only showcased the power of teamwork, but it taught me a lesson about getting out of my comfort zone and overcoming my fears. At first, I taught that becoming a part of a club that required commitment of your free time was going to be an obstacle as I found myself immersed on focusing on my studies first, but after some words of encouragement from peers who were already members and club leaders, I decided to join. I am glad I joined this club because I met peers who also prioritized their studies and who were genuinely kind and friendly to be around. Becoming a BIONIC member had geared my path towards leadership. As a junior member, I observed the club leaders’ dedication to organize club fundraisers, community service projects, meetings, and socials, which made me realize I wanted to pursue a leadership role when I become a senior member. For this reason, I embarked on the opportunity to run for the club president position.
For my two years in the club, there were many versatile service projects and fundraisers organized both inside and outside of campus grounds. Some events and projects that I assisted with included the Benny’s Car Wash, feeding the homeless, joint grocery hamper service project with the Interact Club, and “Get Well” card distribution to hospital patients. These projects and events stood out to me the most because they were all centralized on generating public or community outreach. Even though it was vital to build a network with students on campus, there was still a way in which we could take initiative to be involved in the community and to gain an outside perspective on how we can improve or make an impact in our neighborhood. After pursuing these events, it enabled me to witness that with team effort, we can contribute to a positive change, whether it was a change in people’s moods or emotions. In each experience, there was a personal impact of having a humble reminder to appreciate what I have daily and to do a selfless act for the benefit of others. St. John’s College Junior College has been reiterating a motto which highlights Men and Women For Others. The motto that St. John’s College Junior College lives by inspired me to also be a student to exercise this motto throughout my participation in other clubs as well such as the First Aid Club, Oceana Wavemakers, and Eucharistic Ministry.
What I liked most about these clubs was that they were all centered around service. The First Aid Club enabled me to learn the basic skills of first aid, whether it involved performing CPR or being able to assist someone who fainted; being in the First Aid Club also helped me to earn a temporary Red Cross certification and to assist in the Red Cross booth for Belize’s annual expo fair. In addition, Oceana Wavemakers provided me with an opportunity to assist in neighborhood cleanups which contributed to having a cleaner and more sanitary environment. As for Eucharistic Ministry, being a Eucharistic Minister gave me a deeper understanding about the parts of the mass, specifically the Liturgy of the Eucharist, which is one of the most reverent part in the mass as it is a chance for people to build a special bond with Christ. The role of the Eucharistic Minister not only meant that I was doing an active role in the church service, but a role which is concentrated on serving the parish and God by being able to help the congregation build a closer bond with God. By being involved with these clubs and roles, I developed a greater appreciation for those who are passionate in serving others, hence seeing the motto, “Men and women for and with others,” coming to light.
12. Please share a little story of your tenure at St. John’s College Junior College? Best moments?
When I got accepted to St. John’s College Junior College, my mom told me that two years would fly by, and it surely did. The experiences and friendships that I developed at sixth form were filled with lasting memories that I will forever treasure. I had no idea what to expect but as time went by, I ensured that I savored every experience because I know that once graduation time came around, I will not get those moments back again. Certainly, with the excitement of being able to attend this junior college with my friends from high school, I knew that the higher the education I pursued, the more costly it became for my mom. Before school started, I learnt about the working scholarship, which entailed assisting faculty with any services, and in return receiving monetary funds to help pay the tuition for the year. At first, I was worried that I would be the only student on working scholarship, but then I realized that I had to put my pride aside and do what I could to help my mom. So, during my free time between classes or after classes, I would assist the Dean of Student Services with any task pertaining to the Student Center or school event. After a year of working scholarship, my mom was able to afford the full tuition payment for the following year. Having more free time, I decided to sign up for extracurricular activities on campus.
My best moments would have to be the little moments that I spent with my friends while waiting after classes. Spending time with friends meant a lot to me because I knew that after two years passed, we would be taking our own separate pathways to different universities, as we all shared the ambition to study abroad. Little moments would include taking short walks to the nearest snack shop to buy ideals, having lunch on the picnic tables, and playing card or board games on campus. During my time at sixth form, I realized that sometimes the best moments does not have to be social events or trips, but the memories that you create with your friends. You never really get those moments back again. Considering the pandemic, I am glad that I was able to live those experiences with my friends face-to-face, which made me reflect on how much human contact was taken for granted.
13. What is your perspective on discrimination in Belize (across the board)?
Even though discrimination or prejudice may not seem obvious or prevalent in today’s conversation, I do feel that discrimination is a topic that should be more incorporated, as there are some instances of discrimination occurring locally and globally. Despite the fact that Belize has been known to be a melting pot nation of diverse ethnicities and culture, there is still room for improvement on practicing and building comradeship among our fellow neighbors at home and abroad. I have observed that gender and social class or economic discrimination are the common forms of discrimination that continues to be apparent in this country. In the business and political sector, I believe that there is room for improvement on how leadership is handled as there have been issues of unequal pay and nepotism resulting in setbacks for the economy rather than steps moving forward. Therefore, I believe that regardless of gender or social class, people should be evaluated by their skills, qualifications, and experience, instead of status.
14. If you were given the opportunity to meet the Prime Minister, Hon. John Briceno and the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Patrick Faber, what three important issues would you discuss?
If I had the opportunity to meet and discuss three important issues with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, I would highlight the need for more investment in arts and sports, the need for organizing necessary career seminars for students unable to seek employment post-graduation, and more investigation on crime cases. Belize has been showcasing tremendous potential in various pursuits such as music, painting, dancing, and multiple sports, but I believe that Belizeans have not been given much opportunity to advance their talents and have not been granted enough scholarships or exposure to partnerships, leagues, or even institutions that thrive in these areas. I feel that with government assistance and active involvement, these citizens can receive the opportunity to enhance their skills abroad so that they can represent Belize internationally. Moreover, with government and educational consultation and assistance with employment, Belizeans graduating from secondary or tertiary level can have better chances in landing jobs. Today, many recent graduates have been unable to apply for job positions as there is no clear communication bridge between employers and potential candidates. Reaching out to employers during the pandemic has caused a strain on many young Belizeans as they have been experiencing challenges in receiving feedback from employers on their application status. By organizing virtual seminars for Belizean students and graduates, they can help to further close the informational or networking gap between them and employers. I do believe that the government should pay keen attention to this issue because this may be a primary reason for the constant brain drain because of the lack of job opportunities, which could potentially develop into a financial or employment hiatus for the country. In addition to the economic crisis, recently, there has been a spike in criminal activities, such as murder and armed robberies, causing matters of much concern for the population and for incoming tourists who may be susceptible to these incidents. The law enforcement officers along with the government should take more heed so that Belizeans could feel a sense of security and that justice has been served to suffering victims. For this objective to be achieved, there should be a budget allocated for recruiting a forensic and investigation team so that there is a higher probability for cases to be solved and for the crime rates to subside.
15. Life can be challenging. How do you get rid of stress and what’s your advice to others on this?
As an overthinker, stress may not be an easy thing to get rid of, but to get through life’s obstacles, I believe it can be reduced through prayer, exercise, and music. From I was little, my mom would only remind me to pray whenever I encounter hardships, or even to simply get through the day. My faith has been the forefront solution and has played a significant part in overcoming any stress. In times of distress, I tend to just sit down and have a private conversation with God to just help me to get through whatever I am going through. Prayer has been a humbling and vulnerable experience because it has served as a reminder that I am not alone in a difficult situation and that I need help, which has enabled me to successfully relieve those instances of having extreme anxiety. There is this quote by Jenni Young that I live by which states, “Every situation in life is temporary. So, when life is good, make sure you enjoy and receive it fully. And when life is not good, remember that it will not last forever and better days are on the way.” I live by this quote everyday because despite any obstacles I face, I know that it is temporary, and there is always an inner strength to push myself through any encountered challenges.
16. Which Belizean Hero do you embrace? Why?
Rt. Hon. George Price has always been an exemplary hero because he practiced and demonstrated true servant leadership to the Belizean populace. He dedicated his career to lead the nation in becoming independent, which is a tremendous reason why we continue to exercise our democratic right every year. He is my Belizean Hero that I will always admire because he made sure that he always prioritized his faith wherever he went and remained humble. Even though he is no longer present with the Belizean people today, every year during the month of September, I would look forward to watching the history of his contributions and life. As a young Holy Redeemer student, I would always meet him while walking to school and he would politely greet me and every person passing near him by saying, “Good Morning”. Rt. Hon. George Price would never let his position affect who he was as an individual as he was a man of dignity, honesty, and integrity. He was truly a Belizean patriot at heart. His selfless nature inspired me to take on leadership roles in club organizations or at school. As I develop in my career, I aspire to live by the principles that the Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price showcased as a Belizean.
17. In one of my articles I stated: ‘It is important to realize that the majority of Belize’s younger populations continue to be very mediocre as it relates to becoming holistically educated and cultured, personally and professionally.’ In the latter part of the article I also stated: ‘The primary culture of reluctance refers to a themed, laid-back mentality, wherein our population, or at least, majority of the population, have a meddlesome, unaware, and mediocre approach to self development and self fulfillment.’ What’s your perspective on these two statements?
I do understand the validity of the points made in these two statements, but I would not necessarily say that the continuation of mediocrity or culture of reluctance is entirely true as it depends on the circumstances of the younger populations. For instance, the evolution of technology has enabled the younger Belizean populace to utilize their innovative minds especially in the business sector. The younger generation has learnt to create unique strategies to market their personal and business brand through social media. With apps such as Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, the younger generation has a greater advantage in communicating with individuals globally, especially when seeking job or scholarship opportunities. However, with technology there are pros as well as cons. A disadvantage would be that technology or social media tends to slow down productivity or development for young minds as they may be heavily reliant on information sourced from the internet or the media, which not only prevents them from enhancing their critical thinking ability but leads to reduced interest in reading books or watching the news to stay in tuned to what is occurring regionally or internationally.
On the other hand, I think that there is a double standard when it comes to the perspective of what mediocrity, or a laid-back mentality entails because not all young individuals may have access to privileges such as education or technology, as they might have not been given opportunities to pursue these avenues because of their personal circumstances. However, I do feel that this is where public support and community effort comes in to assist with the development of the young Belizean society so that they can become holistically cultured and educated, personally and professionally, because it does take a village to stimulate growth for the country.
Date of Birth: July 16, 1999
Place of Birth: Belize City
Parents: Evlin Sanchez
Brothers & Sisters: Only child
School: Rockhurst University
Hobbies: Reading, writing, and dancing
With the Powers Vested Into Us:
I, Kenrick Mark Coleman, Founder & Chairman of The Kenrick Mark Coleman Foundation proclaim Niki Jeane Sanchez as the August 2021 Personality of the Month Award Recipient. Niki is entitled to an Official Interview, an Authentication Award and all privileges that complement the Personality of the Month Award Program. Niki now joins thirty-nine other hardworking, talented, intelligent and deserving Belizeans in our Official Order of Distinction.
Photo Credits: Niki Jeane Sanchez
Acknowledgement: Niki Jeane Sanchez
Personality of the Month Award Recipients:
Laurita Williams (June, 2008) Toledo
Abel Coleman (July, 2008) Toledo
Gareth Jacobs (November, 2008) Toledo
Floridalma Fajardo (February, 2009) Toledo
Felicita Arzu (July, 2009) Orange Walk
Samson Jacobs (January, 2010) Belize City
Clive Myers (May, 2010) Belize City
Ashanti Garcia (July, 2010) San Ignacio
Leilah Pandy (August, 2010) Belize City
Myra Fajardo (October, 2010) Toledo
Dorien Villafranco (September, 2011) Belmopan
Annlyn Apolonio (August, 2012) Belize City
Micah Goodin (January, 2013) Belize City
Andre Alamina (November, 2013) Belize City
Juana Meza (March, 2014) Stann Creek
Justyn Craig (June, 2015) Belize City
Harsheel Makhijani (September, 2015)Orange Walk
Zeida Montero (October, 2015) Stann Creek
Jasmine Myvette (December, 2015) Sand Hill
Francis Sutherland (February, 2016) Corozal
Cindy Espinal (March, 2016) Stann Creek
Robin Gray (April, 2016) Stann Creek
Juan Bol (May, 2016) Toledo
Andrew Vasquez (June, 2016) Belize City
Kevin Trejo (November, 2016) Orange Walk
Dovini Chell (December, 2016) Orange Walk
Nissa Waldman (January, 2017) Corozal
Bryton Codd (March, 2018) Belize City
Daniel Hung (June, 2018) Belmopan
Dino Emilio Gutierrez (August, 2018) Cayo
Tsung Wei Wu (September, 2018) Corozal
Diany Leal (October, 2018) Cayo
Robin Quilter (November, 2018) Ladyville
Tianna Coleman (March, 2019) Stann Creek
Azizi Hoy (October, 2019) Belize City
Israel Alpuche (November, 2019) Corozal
Asia Gilharry (May, 2020) Corozal
Phaedra Mohammed Ali (June, 2020) Burrell Boom
Jamir Humberto Sanchez (October, 2020) Cayo
Niki Jeane Sanchez (August, 2021) Belize City