Saturday, July 20, 2024

BTL and Restore Belize bring Youth Rally to San Pedro


The San Pedro High School hosted the first in a series of four Youth Rallies being held in the Belize and Cayo Districts. The Rally took place on Thursday May 24th at 9AM at the Rafael Angel Nuñez Auditorium. The purpose of the Rallies was to “assist with stimulating and educating children from schools throughout the country about living a positive lifestyle.

The rallies are a combined effort by the Belize Telemedia Limited, RESTORE Belize and the Belize Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (BELAIFA) and featured professional motivational speakers from across the United States.

Offering the welcome and opening address was Minister of Tourism Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. In addressing the gathering, Heredia stated, “It is imperative that influential organizations and personnel continue to impact societies, targeting our youths as they make that transition into becoming the leaders of tomorrow.

He concluded; “Students, you are the real benefactors of this event. As you embark on your journeys to becoming teachers, lawyers, nurses, Tourism Industry employees or even the next Prime Minister of Belize, always remember the important lessons you have been taught and the words of wisdom and encouragement by these motivational speakers.  It will allow you to see the world differently and to achieve maximum success!

Speakers for the event included the CEO and Founder of the Bert Oliva Wealth Academy, Mr. Bert Oliva. Motivational speaker for the international, “My Bag, My Home, Homeless by Choice Tour,” Mr. Roy Juarez Junior; Founder and CEO of the Human Communication Skills, Pamela S. Perkins, and CEO and Founder of the Educational Achievement Services, Inc. Mrs. Consuelo Castillo-Kickbusch.

The students and attendees at the rally were blessed to be in the presence of these amazing individuals who, from their stories, shared and proved that through education, a steadfast will to succeed and with a little support, nothing is unreachable.

The first speaker was Mrs. Consuelo Castillo-Kickbusch. Suffering from an injury she sustained while in Belize for an international conference, Consuelo limped to the forefront of the catwalk where she introduced herself, showed her x-rays, followed by a very entertaining and engaging session with the students, teachers, and attendees at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. Her tactic is entertaining the kids, speaking of experiences that resonated with the youth – speaking in their dialect – as she spoke of her encounters with youth, much like those in attendance, in the United States, interjecting humor into her stories.

Following much laughter and cheers with the kids, she silenced the crowd to tell her story. The SPHS students were admirable as they paid much respect and sat silent, paying keen attention to all the speakers. Consuelo’s account of a young nine year old girl in the United States with immigrant parents, an abusive mother, a school where she was shunned and told that she was unwanted, being sexually molested from the age of nine to the age of twelve by four different men resonated with everyone in attendance. As she delved into her experience, re-living her torture, the visible signs of pain, anger and frustration in her voice and face, many in attendance came to tears.

While her struggles and pains were many, her success story amounted to much, much, more. She spoke of her introduction to a library, given the opportunity to learn how to read and learn; her determination to overcome her trials and succeed, having to take multiple jobs to work her way through college and eventually enlisting in the  army where she received many honors and crossed barriers as a Latin American in the United States Army.

The words “Yes You Can” and “I Am Belize, Belize is Me, because I am Special” resonated with the audience. The account of her amazing story, which most certainly touched the core of all in attendance, is one that this reporter was very fortunate to have experienced.

Roy Juarez Junior, Motivational speaker for the international, “My Bag, My Home, Homeless by Choice Tour,” was next to present. Roy has been living as a homeless person for the past three years by choice as he shares his story with children across the United States, to encourage students to dream big. Roy spoke of his childhood, being the third of five children born to an abusive dad. He spoke of nights in bed, hearing the screams of his mother as his father physically abused her, and at times having to serve as a shield for his mom to get away. He spoke of being in school, not knowing whether he would have a mother to come home to. He spoke of being on the run, as a family unit, his mother and four siblings, from his father, in fear for their lives.

Learning the emotions of hate, anger and disappointment at the tender age of seven and spending the following years, practically homeless, being tossed from home to home, being rejected along with his siblings by his mother for the love of a man, desire less of kids, that would provide a safe haven for herself; being able to find a home for his younger siblings but always being the one rejected. He spoke of not knowing where his next meal would come from or where he would spend the night.

He spoke of the opportunities that were given to him, including listening to a motivational talk being presented by Consuelo during the times of his being homeless, as he sought shelter and food at the hotel where she was presenting.

He remembered not really being interested in the presentation until in the background, he heard parts of her story to caught his attention and instilled in him the notion that he can do anything he choose to, if he would only allow himself to dream big, that he was worth every good thing and deserving of all that he can make of himself.

Once again, he encouraged the students to keep dreaming and working towards making those dreams come through. He stressed on the importance of education and forgiveness.

He was followed by a presentation by Pamela S. Perkins, who made her way to the podium dancing. Her presentation centered on the power of words, and she spoke of growing up in a time when it wasn’t okay to be black in America, and even worse, being a black woman. She spoke of the dangers of speaking badly of ourselves, the importance of choosing our words as they can define our lives. She encouraged individuals to become the persons they want others to see them as, while using words to promote positivity amongst each others.

Bert Oliva, CEO and Founder of the Bert Oliva Wealth Academy, was the final speaker. Bert encouraged the kids to take risks and be aggressive and sometimes crazy, in making decisions. He encouraged them to play the game of life, and play it to win. He encouraged them to go for what they want – not to wait around for their turn. “You see it, go for it”. He encouraged celebration; celebrate individual successes as well as the success of others.

All speakers were equally motivating, speaking of their various struggles and successes while expounding on the importance of a proper education and determination to succeed.

The rally was truly amazing and empowering. To see and hear of individuals that go through so much more than many of us, and yet have the desire and determination to dream big and make those dreams come through.

Following the presentations at the SPHS, the team of motivational speakers travelled to Belize City to start their afternoon sessions while being hosted by Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education at the Princess Hotel in Belize City. The team had two sessions each hosting 600 second form students from various High Schools across the City, which were broadcasted live on Wave FM. The final session is scheduled for Friday May 25th in San Ignacio and will be hosted by Mayor John August.

The San Pedro Sun joins the many students in attendance for the opportunity to have been a part of such an inspirational event.

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