Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 1st 2013 Contents B5
December 1, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
From Page B1
This did not go over well with adults
who simply wanted their child to fit in.
So yes, books have always been there for
me. Even my foundation s name came from
a Robin Sharma book, where he talked
about the countries that would take over
this world order will be the ones who grew
leaders faster than others...sirens went off
in my head.
What advice would you give to the
young people of Trinidad and Tobago?
Be curious about everything. Travel to
as many different places as possible. Only
believe what you see with your own eyes.
Life gives us all a second chance called
tomorrow, so keep moving. Trust your own
intuition above everything. Smile at strangers
for no reason, just to say "I see you." Kind-
ness wins every time.
When and how did you get into what
you are doing now, and what was your
inspiration to start the foundation? When
was it started? Where is it based?
I had a crisis when I turned 30. For five
years straight, leading up to it, I would
write every January 1 in my journal: "I am
not living up to my potential..." But the
thing is I was not sure what to do about
it. And then life happened, and it forced
me to find my purpose. I went back to
school to do my Masters in Real Estate
Development and Urban Planning, an area
I did not even know I had an interest in
and loved it. At some point it dawned on
me that for my entire legal career, since
2003 I was always out teaching and vol-
unteering for a programme called Kids and
the Power of Work. In a very indirect way,
I had been practicing all along to do my
foundation s work, and I did not even know
it. I started the foundation in 2010 after my dad
passed away, and I did it in Trinidad in many ways
as a continuation of his and my mom s commitment
What is your schedule like for the near future,
or the next year? What are your plans for the
I plan six months at a time. And it is this simple
measure I use, "I am not growing if the upcoming
six months looks like the last six months." This is
not only in activities and things but also people.
And you can imagine how I drive my foundation
staffers mad with my constant "tree shaking," since
most folks like things to "remain the same." We
have taken the foundation into Barbados. Our impact
numbers increased tenfold, reaching over 13,000
Caribbean youths. We are introducing social enterprise
as a third way to the T&T arts, business, education
and food community through four events we are
having December 1-7.
The social enterprise Hive we are hosting is inspired
by Dubai Social Enterprise week which happened in
February this year. We are calling it a "HIVE" because
like a bee hive the most important task that benefits
both nature and humans is to pollinate. Successful
pollination depends more upon the strength of a colony
than the number of adult bees within it. Our pollinators
aka panelists are social entrepreneurs who will share
their expertise and address over the course of four
events the issues they have faced in areas of art---at
Medulla Gallery, today at 6.30 pm; business---at the
Lok Jack Business School, tomorrow at 6.30 pm; edu-
cation---at Woodford Square, Tuesday at 3.30 pm;
food security---at Upmarket/Woodbrook, Saturday at
Then in February I head out to the Middle East
for six months. The largest school system in the
world---GEMS---just green lighted us to go into their
Asian schools (they have over 10 million students
globally), the National Bank of Abu Dhabi just
approved our programmes to be part of their 2014
corporate social responsibility roll out, not only in
Dubai but across the Middle East region. Our Uni-
versity Leadership Field Study programme is about
to take off since our first beta at the Abu Dhabi
University in May this year was extremely successful.
Our programmes are now part of the Dubai Chamber
of Commerce etc. So the next six months, I will
not be in the Gulf of Paria region but on the other
Who are some of the younger people who are
actively involved in your crusade, if we can call
The average age of folks I surround myself with
gets younger and younger every year, because I sur-
round myself with those who have not given up on
their dreams. In Trinidad and Tobago there are some
amazing young women who will make some bad
leaders in the near future, if given the chance. Giselle
Roberts, director of business Development at the
TTMA is a brilliant young lady, Analiese Moonsammy
of the Back Pack project is another sharp civic
minded young woman, Charlotte Elias is such a
tremendous support for all women, Lisa Roop, an
engineer at Repsol who volunteers and coordinates
for my programme etc.
And then the "ladies who rock" circle in Dubai,
Sheena Khan of the Change Initiative, Fereshteh
Amary of Social Enterprise Week, Media Nocenti of
C3 etc. I am truly blessed but make no mistake, in
the last few years women in leadership roles in T&T
have taken a huge hit. And after getting rid of the
weeds, I can truly say I have a garden full of brilliant
women, younger and older, who use their hand to
lift each other up. How cool is that?
Describe yourself in two (or more) words, one
beginning with S, the other with D...your initials?
Sincere, Don t mess with her!
How can people contact you?
'No child is a failure'
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