Influencer Amanda Rovelet
Interview August 2020
Could you share with us some information of your family life?
I live with my significant other and we have a 7 month’s old son. I have one other sister that is living in Holland. I was born in Holland and when I was 10 months’ old my parents came back to Curaçao I grew up in Curaçao and was raised in a very protective environment. I had what I needed, but had no luxury. I didn’t know what real poverty was all about. It was something, that I was totally unaware of. My parents are still alive and were always very supportive in what I do. After finishing High School at Radulphus College. I went to Holland for my studies and after a brief intermezzo with the help of my parents, that backed me up all the way, I regained my footing and in my second turn back in Holland, I finalized my studies. So I am grateful for that.
Where do you work or do you have your own business?
I started with my own business “Sporty Kidz Curaçao” about 3 years ago together with my business partner. It was a childcare organization. We have recently decided to stop with it, because of the way Covid-19 affected the business. But in a way it also was a blessing as the Covid -19 period made me realize, that I was still not doing what I really wanted to do. It triggered me to re-think what I really wanted to do and we tarted my own company “Major Informa” and this is what I am focusing on right now.
Could you share with us some of your educational background and past professional experiences?
I have a degree in social pedagogic counseling. The biggest difference between us and a social worker is that we are trained to facilitate groups. We also have a specialty with a mental or physical disability. A social worker focuses more on the individual level, to help a person that needs. They help them solve their own individual problems, like budgeting, as subject matter that is directed towards an individual client.
When I was a trainee in Holland I got into contact with a house of school. It was a boarding house for youngsters between 12 and 18 years old. When I came back to Curacao, I started working at Huize Sint Jozef, as a Social Worker also a boarding school for between 4 and 14 years.
After 3,5 years I started my own business, a Child Care called Sporty Kidz Curaçao. I love challenges, and after a while I became a little bored. I was missing out on assistance and counseling part that I really love. So I started helping out at the Child First Foundation their after school classes and later on also started giving training at Bos di Hubentut. Especially at Bos di Hubentut I really loved what I was doing, as the approach was kind of holistic, involving with all those involved in the education of a child In conversations with colleagues in Child Care I noticed a need among colleagues for different types of information related to: “How to deal with children that are super active and full of energy or any other kind of behavior where the educators don’t know how to address these. Like, what to do with children and their accessibility to tablets. Should you forbid it or regulate it. So the answer is, how best to use a tablet that it is beneficial for all. All this experiences triggered me to start with my new company.
We were referred to you by Giovanni Eugenia as he considers your influence in the area of education and child development important to take notice of. Where does these interests come from?
My interest started when I worked at Huize Sint Jozef. I started working there when I was very young, 25 years old. When I started, I was full of ambition and I was determined to help those youths, to move forward as our youth is our future, right? But I learned quickly, that there are many things influencing the youth in this boarding house. I grew up not knowing what poverty was. This youth grew up in poverty and in an environment where some didn’t have a bed to sleep in, as they slept with their parents and at times went through a whole day without having anything to eat. They would wear the same clothes where it was obvious that it wasn’t washed for quite some time, and later I came to understand that they didn’t have water to wash their clothes. This was such a big shock to me that I didn’t want to continue working in at Huize Sint Jozef. I started a child care organization with a business partner with intention to expand it later with other activities for the less fortunate.
The parents of these children are from the middle income class as they can afford paying for the child care. Those that were more in need of chilcare education, their parents couldn’t afford it. And I became aware of the differences between those children that go to a child care, compared with those not going to a child care in their development even after only 6 months. At a child care children have within 6 months their social abilities developed. They learn to get along with other children, learn to wait for their turn, learn not to bite or learn certain basics in hygiene. They learn different things compared to those children at home that only know their morther or grandmother. Like when the child comes to the child care they have to leave their comforter (chupón) out of their mouth so that they can learn how to talk. While at home the mother tends to give the child the comforter as soon as possible.
The biggest challenge then is how to teach the mothers how to educate their children. That is why we started with “Major Informá”. And things changes when you become a mother.
When I became a mother, I becameinsecure, so I experienced what mothers go through and not all has a pedagogic background. So the struggle might be harder for them. I want to be helpfull in educating mothers to answer the questions that come up, when you are a mother in collaboration with the maternity hospital for example. As the children grow older, I also want to prepare mothers and educators to help level out the differences that might develop over time between children as they prepare to go the primary school levels.
What is your BIG WHY or driving motivation to be whom you are right now?
I love empowering and enabling people in the educational field. At this moment, it is the joy and satisfaction I experience, when I see that someone I coached or mentored use a tool I shared with them and see that they are able to progress and succeed in their work. It gives me a boost to see that people are better able to manage their lives.
When do you consider that you have been successfull in your personal and business/professional life, let us say 5 years from now?
I would love to see that the quality of Child Care on the island has improved. In my personal life, that I would loved to be financially stable, allowing me too at the same time enjoy life.
What are the challenges that you are dealing with? And how are you dealing with these different challenges you confront?
My biggest challenge has been the financial part of the child care business we recently decided to stop. As a business owner you don’t have a fixed income and at the other hand you need to have an income some way or the other.
Being a mother can at times also be a challenge.
But it is a challenge and at the same time fun to balance the different roles I have. As I come home tired and I see my son, I still need to give him and my other loved ones my best self.
Do you use your inner voice to evaluate when dilemma’s show up?
I always use my inner voice. I do have a tendency to overthink and this makes me a little bit insecure at times.
How does this Inner voice work for you?
I talk a lot with other persons to create a balance in regard to my inner critic.
I create situations where I feel happy, it could be my me-time when I am playing games or watching TV and then ideas will come up spontaneously. I write them out and discuss them with others. That is how it works for me.
How are you trying also to keep up with your personal knowledge and skills levels?
I surround my self with people that I admire, to have conversations that are interesting and that inspire me. As there is this saying that goes: “You’re the average of the five people spend the most time with”. I search a lot on the internet to look for useful information regarding children with learning disabilities. Or I google to find an explanation of a word or concept that I don’t know.
What are your strengths?
I enable and empower people;
I love to analyze situations;
I love organizing activities, and I love collaborating with others to achieve my/our goals.
I can be bold, as I have taken bold steps to start my own company or bold steps to change the direction in my career. Taking bold steps doesn’t mean that I don’t have my doubts. I look for other people to share opinions with them, when I am in doubt.
I don’t like doing routine work, and I am always looking for challenges.
Do you have hobbies or interests that you are also passionate about?
Education for those with some form of disabilities.
If you as Amanda would meet a stranger in the bus (let say in Holland or the US) and they would ask you to introduce yourself, what would you answer?
My name is Amanda Rovelet and I live in Curaçao. I am giving training and workshops related to the educational field and I am curious in lots of things, most of all curious about education in general.
How would you describe Amanda in one word or one sentence?
I am passionate about education. I am a curious, dynamic team player, always looking to move things forward so that we can succeed in the end.
Whom are the persons that have inspired you the most in your career?
My father, he used to work at the Ministry of Development of the Central Government of the Netherlands Antilles and worked on so many projects, that really had a social impact and I wanted to follow in his footsteps.
I am also inspired by Nanny Jo Frost from Supernanny as in this program they share so many educational tips and tops for parents. Again it is the same subject matter, namely education.
What is a trait that is still work in progress?
I want to become more self confident and self assured.
What was a defining moment in your life?
The moment I left my job at Huize Sint Jozef was a defining moment, although it gave me jobsecurity and a stable income. But I longed to have a less stressful life and be able to enjoy life, my loved ones – like my partner and my family – more. I felt unhappy and stressed in this job and started stressing for example on Sunday afternoon as of 3 pm, my whole demeanour changed as I became aware of the fact that I had to go to work the next day.
Where do you want to be 15 to 20 years from now with your career?
Working or being involved in an organization where we offer help to those in need of help, so that we can improve the education of the future generations.
What would you want your Loved Ones, family, friends and others to say about you let’s say 20 years from now?
Amanda is a person that loves to help others, which includes helping her parents. She has a BIG heart and she has helped lots of people and she is a role model for her children.
We are climbing out of the lock-down now and just starting to open our borders back since the first of July, because of the presence of the Coronavirus in the world. What makes you stay optimistic about the future of Curaçao?
Irrespective of the things that happened that were not pleasant, lots of organizations are innovating and looking for ways and means to offer the younger generations a break. We from the younger generations are getting our share of “more opportunities”. Because of the lock-down, I could focus and re-think what I could do after the lock-down. For Curaçao in general, it meant opportunities for innovation.
One of the 250 Influencers of Curaçao
Amanda Rovelet is a driven, curious, dynamic team player, mother of a son that was born in December 2019. In her search for finding her footing, Amanda is now confident that her passion for education will best be served in her recently started company “Major Informa”. Through this company, Amanda wants to inform and enable the education of all stakeholders involved in the education of children and youth. Finding her footing has not been a straight line for Amanda, but at the other hand, she has ultimately been bold enough to follow her heart. The need for such support is high in a world full of transformational changes. Considering her passion for education and her courage to take bold decisions when the chips are down, we are convinced that Amanda will enable and create impactful changes in the educational field and for this we consider Amanda one of the 250 Influencers on the island, representing the educational sector.