Influencer Andrew Dijkhoff

Interview April 2023.

Could you share with us some information about your family life?
I was born and raised in Aruba. I have two younger sisters. I was raised by a village. Everyone played a part in my formative and teenage years. All 4 grandparents were also part of my upbringing, which I am very grateful for.

Could you share something about your educational background and your experience?

I first attended HAVO, and after graduating from HAVO I attended 2 years of VWO. I continued my education at the Delft University of Technology where I obtained both a BSc and MSc in Applied Physics with a specialization in Quantum Nanoscience. For my internship, I went to Newcastle, Australia. I researched novel materials for next-generation photovoltaics. 

During my studies, I ventured into different types of activities:

o          I was part of the Electric Formula Student Team (DUT14). A team of ~80 students who design, build, and compete with an electric racing car.
o          I thought Physics to MAVO-3 and HAVO 3 students
o          Tutored math and physics for 5 years to earn extra cash
o          Worked as a teaching assistant for several courses in the Applied Physics study.

Currently, I am working at ASML (semiconductor tool maker) as system install coordinator for DUV photolithographic machines.

We know you to be an active leader in SPLIKA. How did you get involved?
It started in 2017 when I started following every page I could find on social media related to the ABC islands, whether it be about news, Papiamento, or culture. In 2019, I saw a post that SPLIKA is organizing a course to learn how to make your own ‘tambu’. I registered together with a friend. During this course, I got to know Ruben Severina (founder and former president of SPLIKA). He asked if I have an interest in being involved with the organization and I said “Yes”. I attended my first meeting in February 2020, the rest is (a lot of) history.

How important is it to work on the development of Papiamento|u and what is your role as SPLIKA towards the youth?
Valorization of the language as a heritage and its importance in expressing yourself.

What is your BIG WHY or driving motivation to be who you are right now? And why is it that you want to find ways and means to contribute?
Bring visibility and educate the community (of the ABC islands, NL, and others) on Papiamento|u and the culture. Close the gap of educational deficiency of one’s heritage

Contribute to the community in whatever way (three main topics are science, education, and culture as complementary elements to each other)

What are your plans for the coming 5 years from now?  
Keep elevating SPLIKA: number and quality of events, visibility, recognized as a go-to organization. I would like to move back to Aruba and experience how it is to work and contribute to the community. Get better at kite surfing, continue my scuba diving education

What are the challenges that you are dealing with? And how are you dealing with these different challenges you confront?
To find people to help SPLIKA who are aligned with the mission and vision of the organization. Rebrand SPLIKA to create a more professional look and sense of identity through branding. Brand to help recognize the organization and for others to know what it stands for

Do you use your inner voice to evaluate when dilemmas show up? How does that work for you?
Talk with close friends about it, verbalize the dilemma and take space for yourself, breathe, and feel the sensation in the gut area.

What has inspired your collective form of leadership?
I want people to feel psychological safety, trusted, and appreciated being able to express their views. I want others to speak up with confidence. This contributes to a more fruitful outcome/result.

How are you trying also to keep up with your knowledge and skill levels?
A lot of reading and discussing with fellow board members, but also attend workshops/courses and ask for help when needed.

What are your strengths?
–           Team player
–           Resilience
–           Persistence
–           Empathy

Do you have hobbies and interests that you are also passionate about (aside from your mission with SPLIKA)?
Scuba diving, kite surfing, I started learning and motivated to get better at it. Cooking, Latin dancing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a profound interest in languages (more recently in Portuguese).

If you as Andrew would meet a stranger on the bus (let’s say in New York or Berlin) and they would ask you to introduce yourself, what would you answer?
I’m Andrew, from Aruba.

How would you describe Andrew in one word or one sentence?
Multifaceted, curious and multilingual. 

Who are the persons that have inspired you the most in your career?
Dr. Chaudron (physics teacher), Mister Quant (math teacher), and a few smart friends from the university who had a great work/study ethic.

What is a trait that is still a work in progress?
Saying NO, i.e. stating boundaries.

What was a defining moment in your life?
At age 16 I was at a low point with low self-esteem and realized that I am not good at anything. I made a conscious decision that I want to excel in studying  (obtain high grades) as this was the only thing I could have thought of that I can actively influence and is directly proportional to my time and effort. This became my driving force to strive for excellence.

What would you want your Loved Ones, family, friends, and others to say about you let’s say 20 years from now?
That Andrew was courageous (to pursue his ambitions) and that he enabled/facilitated and at times triggers others to grow.

What makes you stay optimistic about the future?
Continuously asking myself how I as an individual can contribute or actively influence the future. Not only rely on external factors but create the change that I want to see.

Contact information:

One of the 250 Influencers

Andrew Dijkhoff is a curious, caring, courageous (in pursuing his plans), multifaceted, and dedicated mentor, teacher, and professional that is used to continuously learning. With his Master of Science Degree in Applied Physics with a specialization in Quantum Nanoscience, he now works in an organization that is based on best practices in terms of how organizations should work. His love for Papiamento/u and his longing to preserve his identity, brought him to become the Chairman of SPLIKA since 2021. Andrew’s BIG WHY is to:
•          bring visibility and educate the community (of the ABC islands, NL, and others) on Papiamento|u and the culture;
•          close the gap of educational deficiency of one’s heritage;
•          contribute to the community in whatever way (three main topics are science, education, and culture as complementary elements to each other).

Using his leadership style which is based on “teamwork and empathy”, he constantly challenges himself, but also enables/facilitates and at times even triggers others to grow. In SPLIKA he together with his fellow board members, are rebranding to create a more professional look and sense of identity for the organization. Their goal is aimed at finding people to help SPLIKA reach its goal. What makes him stand out is his “We mentality”. Because of this, because of his drive to be his best self and on the other hand, serve the community where he lives and works, we consider Andrew Dijkhoff one of the 250 Influencers of Curaçao, representing the Cultural Sector.  Look at the list of the Influencers we have interviewed or reported on, up to now. 

The goal of the core group of Share2Uplift for 2023

The goal of the Share2Uplift movement is to: “Identify 250 leaders from all walks of life to connect, align and create impactful changes in all walks of life, which includes intergenerational collaboration by the end of 2022.” We will use interviewing Influencers, meet-and-greet events, “train-the-trainers”-programs on “Emotional Mastery” and “Intentionality “as national intervention strategies, to reach this goal on top of our goal to scale up the possibilities to connect, align and create impact via a virtual platform. We believe that by collaborating with Miguel Goede on the virtual Vision 2030 platform, we will accelerate the possibilities to connect the diaspora and others elsewhere in the world and on the island willing to constructively create impactful changes in Curaçao, to join.

As Share2Uplift, we are fully trying to align with this thinking of Center for Curriculum Redesign to promote this agenda in our educational systems and workplace. So, in that sense, we fully support any initiative to make our educational system 21st-century proof.

Share2Uplift aligners are those that:
– Create an inspiring vision of the future;
– Motivate and inspire people to engage with that vision;
– Manage the delivery of the vision;
– Coach and build a team, so that it is more effective at achieving the vision. These criteria are now being polished.

We also consider these 5 values the most important ones for Share2Uplift aligners. They are:

• Peace from within;
• Compassion;
• Respectfulness;
• Integrity;
• Responsibility.

As we will progress towards this goal, we will update you on the progress.

Personal coaching tips

This week we will share some videos on ‘Language, identity and Culture’. We will upload one of these videos every day on our page.

How Language Effects Identity? – YouTube

Do we think differently in different languages? | BBC Ideas – YouTube

Linguistic Relativity: Does Your Language Change How You See The World? – YouTube

Does language shape how we think? Linguistic relativity & linguistic determinism — Linguistics 101 – YouTube

Culture and Identity in language – YouTube

How do languages and cultures interact and influence each other? | Jennifer Qi | ACS Athens – YouTube

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