Influencer Deon Bisslik

In this week’s blog (24th of April till the 30th of April 2023) we had an interview with Deon Bisslik; we will invite you to our next MYM Book presentation on the 23rd of May 2023. We will share some short videos on ‘Life and learning skills for students’. We will upload one of these videos every day on our

Deon Bisslik, could you share some information about your family life with us?
I was born in Dordrecht, Holland and after 8 to 9 months in 1989, my parents went back to Aruba. I returned to Holland back in September 2010. I grew up in a family of fishermen and spend a lot of time swimming and around the sea. I was taught swimming by my dad. My uncle Roly Bisslik was the first to swim from Venezuela to Aruba. His son also repeated this feat and participated in the Olympic Games as a swimmer. I spend most of my life in or around the water and loved it, I have experienced a lot of fun experiences doing this. My father is a physical Ed teacher at the EPB, secondary school level. So I am used to training a lot. I am used to pushing my limits and this made me develop perseverance. I had a great youth with my cousins, playing outside and spending lots of time at sea, in the water and this taught me also to appreciate nature.  

My parents have been incredibly helpful in who I am at this moment in my life. There aren’t enough words to describe this. My mother always had been disciplined and elegantly organized. My stepfather Jaime Falconi (ex-director of the Dr. Horacio Oduber hospital) because of the role he has played in mental health in Aruba, also has influenced me a lot. 

I have another brother and a sister. I have a significant other and we have Quilla (Our dog), but no children.

Could you share any other aspect of your educational background and experiences?
I attended primary school at San Nicolaas and went to the MAVO, where I met all kinds of students from different backgrounds. After graduating as one of the best in my class in Mathematics & Physics, I attended secondary school Colegio Arubiano, but didn’t graduate. After some explorations to find out what type of education would best fit my interests, I ended up graduating as a skipper engineer in Holland. It is interesting to tell you the story of how I came to Holland. I had made up my mind that I wanted fervently to come to Holland, which I did in September 2010.

Someone was supposed to pick me up at Schiphol, but didn’t show up. I didn’t have a scholarship from the Arubian government and only had Euro 800 to find my way to Holland. I spend 8 hours alone in Schiphol wandering around aimlessly and trying to figure out what would be my next step, with only 800 Euro no mobile phone in those days.

But destiny smiled at me. In those days there were two flights from Aruba to Holland and a friend of mine wanted to surprise me at Schiphol and thought I was on the second flight that landed 8 hours later.

So as we met in Schiphol coincidentally, I was so relieved after feeling desperation and I asked her if I could stay with her at her apartment as I has no place to go. Under strict conditions, she agreed and we are now partners for 12 years. Call it destiny, but I was elated and grateful that she accepted me to stay in her small apartment. For my internship, I went back to Aruba and worked for 7 months at the Coast Guard, but that was not something that I wanted to continue to do, so I came back to Holland and at a private school got a degree in Business Management in an associate level and because of it is here that I designed and created Stichting Kompas For Students. I am continuously upgrading my knowledge and skills level, with a courses like design thinking, facilitating, project management etc.

We know you are to be very active in the foundation Kompas For Students. Where did this drive come from?  
Kompas For Students started frustrated with what I had experienced myself coming to Holland. I had the wrong perception that coming out of Aruba, Aruba House in The Hague, would guide you and help you find your way in Holland. That didn’t happen and I had to find my way and felt disappointed. Now let’s fast forward, my cousins came to Holland with a ‘Arubalening’ from the Arubian government but they too experienced a superficial and heartless reception. It is then that I started to reflect on what I could do. My perception that it is the government’s responsibility to guide students that come to Holland was erroneous. My partner, significant other, who was finalizing her study in Imagineering, a business innovation study from the Experience Perspective, after she went as a trainee to Brazil and participated in a project with indigenous people, came up with the idea to help to start students from Aruba with essential life skills as soon as it was possible before they came to Holland. Preparing them like that would free up their focus to be solely on their studies.  

So we developed a series of two-days of workshops aimed at dealing with the needs of the students when they arrive in Holland, so they can better integrate into Dutch society. We have no teacher’s experience, we focus on the experiential part that we have noticed, lacks completely. With this in the back of our minds, we approached different students and asked them, what they were going through. With this information we designed the workshops as efficiently as possible in two days, tackling those aspects of their lives that would impact them the most, like nutrition, values and norms, taxes, and the health system. We know from studies made by the Ombudsman that 60% of students fail. Functioning as a bridge between the students, their parents, and the process of arriving in and living in a new country.  We started this pilot in 2017 with 25 students. I left my job at that time, as no company gives an employee leave for two months, and went to Aruba to set things up for these workshops. Later on, I got a new job. But I was passionate and jumped into an uncertain outcome of our experiment. The results were beyond our expectations. This is best illustrated by a student who after these first workshops came to me and hugged me with tears in her eyes. At first, she was very uncertain, almost panicking and after the workshop, she told me that she feels much more confident now, on her way to Holland. It will still be a challenge, but she is up to the challenge especially with the tools we gave her. 

This drive originated from my own experience, and I don’t want any other student to go through the same process I have gone through. 

And what are your plans for the near future with this involvement?
Help them with solutions  that will have an immediate short-term impact. For example, how to make our bank system costs for international transactions, cheaper. I would do whatever it takes to solve this ultimately. And I will work on a transparent collaboration with all those who want to be involved with helping  the Caribbean student. 

Why is it important to offer students a ‘Kompas’?
Because ‘Kompas’ is not here to tell someone what to do, but to prepare them to succeed. We are NOT telling them if you can’t cook an egg, don’t come to Holland.

We exist for 5 years now and the return on investments has been reasonable and our influence substantial. One of our goals is to increase students’ success rate. 

What is your BIG WHY or driving motivation to be who you are right now and do what you are doing now?
For wherever I pass by, my light would shine leaving it behind or letting it grow. A smile is for free, sharing a smile with someone so that this person can shine from within, that is my BIG WHY.

Two years ago a broke my leg after I fell from my scooter. I had a multiple fractured leg. I went into therapy and literally had to learn to walk again. That was a defining moment as we were in the Covid times, and I was unemployed and reflected a lot on where to focus my energies on. Where do I need to focus on the achieve the changes that I want to see for myself and the society itself. First and foremost take better care of myself so that I can be able to offer the community what I offer on a deeper level. We have two mission in life. To be our best self and to serve. What I’m doing now gives me that satisfaction and if I have to leave this life at this moment I would look back at a fulfilling and happy life.

Dean, with Reinier van Zutphen. The ‘Nationale ombudsman’ of the Netherlands.
Article on Nationale Ombudsman site (2022)

What are the challenges that you are dealing with? And how are you dealing with these different challenges you confront?
At times I need to slow myself down. I need to remind myself whom I want to be. My energy needs to stay high; if I don’t apply self-care, I won’t be ready to deal with all that life throws at me. Not everything nor everyone develops fast. I invest an immense amount of time in Kompas. But my health can also deteriorate immensely fast. I need to slow my pace and stop thinking that I’ll get to sleep when I pass away.

What are your plans for the coming years, let us say 5 years from now?
I would live in Madrid, own a house in Madeira, drink Colombian coffee on my yacht in Croatia, and be visiting Aruba and the Caribbean regularly.

Do you use your inner voice to evaluate when dilemmas show up? How does that work for you?
I trust my inner voice. Based on my life experiences and all that I know if I have to take a decision rapidly, I will trust my inner voice.

How are you trying also to keep up with your knowledge and skill levels?
Via the internet, taking courses, by reading books, talking to professionals that are experts in their field of work. Having people in my circle who are passionate about what they do and aren’t affraid to share about it.

What are your strengths?
Determination, I love helping other people, and my passion. I’m a problem-solving machine with perpetual motors.

Do you have other hobbies or interests that you are also passionate about?
I am learning to play the kwarta, maybe I will perform on a stage someday. Cooking and give it my best while experimenting, adding a lot of love to it.

If you as Deon Bisslik would meet a stranger on the bus (let’s say in Berlin or Croatia) and they would ask you to introduce yourself, what would you answer?
Hi, my name is Deon. I heard you guys have the best fruits in the world. I love fruits, where can I get the best fruits? Also, do you have any elephants here?

How would you describe Deon Bisslik in one word or one sentence?
Deon Bisslik is strong and quiet, just like the wind.

Who are the persons that have inspired you the most in your career?
My mother, my significant other, and my mentor Pinki Pathak.

What is a trait that is still a work in progress?

What was a defining moment in your life?
My first car accident in Aruba. This changed my life completely. I was so badly injured that I needed to recalibrate my life again. But also listened to and see a student at the end of our first two days of the workshop, crying and telling me that she has learned a lot and that it would still be challenging, but she was feeling more confident now.

Maybe I’am paying Karma for my next life, ha, ha. 

What would you want your Loved Ones, family, friends, and others to say about you let’s say 20 years from now?
Deon is late or Deon is at the grill (he’s the one with the ukulele).

What makes you stay optimistic about the future of the world?
The blessings in and of life. And the ability to smile.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?
We in the Caribbean are stronger and more united than we allow and accept ourselves to be.

Contact information
Insta: kompasforstudents/

One of the 250 Influencers

Deon Bisslik is a passionate, caring, kind, dedicated mentor & teacher, with a great sense of humor. Having overcome two accidents one in Aruba and one with a scooter two years ago, where he broke his legs multiple times, has also proven his resilience to fall but always standing up again. Using his own experiences when he arrived in Holland some 12 years ago and emphasizing the need experiential learning has made Deon commit himself, to teach students planning to come in Holland for their studies, relevant life skills, norms and values and information related to the institutions in Holland. His goal is to raise the success rate of students that come to Holland for their studies. 

What makes him stand out is his determination, his love to help other people and his passion to serve and shine his light, uplifting others and letting them grow. Because of this, because of his drive to continuously keep learning and innovating, we consider Deon Bisslik one of the 250 Influencers of the Dutch Caribbean, representing the Educational 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 2022

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.

MYM-platform session

Our next MYM-platform session will be on the 23rd of May via Zoom, where we will present one book presented by multiple presenters: ‘Everybody is a mentor’, author Steven De Lira.

Heb jij weleens soul sex? Hoe vaak voel jij je vrij genoeg in een gesprek met iemand om niet alleen je geordende, doordachte ideeën te delen, maar ook je wilde gedachtenspinsels? Dit boek is een product van veel soul sex, waarvoor het jezelf kunnen zijn in een gesprek én de ander kunnen zien als mentor belangrijke voorwaarden zijn. Steven de Lira is ingenieur en meer dan 15 jaar actief als coach en trainer van bankdirecteuren, jongeren met een strafblad tot schoolgaande kinderen op Curaçao. Hij combineert het beste van twee werelden. Hij is geboren op Curaçao en kwam voor zijn studie naar Nederland. Hij gelooft in verbinding en in warme relaties, omdat hij heeft geleerd hoe belangrijk ze zijn. In onze westerse wereld draait alles om efficiëntie en ratio. We hebben het onderwijs voor iedereen toegankelijk gemaakt en leiden mensen steeds beter op, maar slechts op een bepaald cognitief niveau. Het is tijd voor het toegankelijk maken van onze sociaal emotionele ontwikkeling. Waarom heeft enkel een kleine groep mensen toegang tot coaching, de mogelijkheid een mentor in te schakelen? Daar heeft toch iedereen recht op? Bovendien is het een voorwaarde voor een duurzame en eerlijke samenleving. Dit boek laat zien dat er een haalbare manier is om die toegankelijkheid te bereiken en wel met social deep learning. Het is een manier om onze interacties bewuster in te zetten voor sociaal emotionele groei. Op zoek naar meer soul sex, wat leidt tot meer onderlinge verbinding. Dat is geen luxe, dat is noodzaak.

Date: 23rd of May
Time: 7.00 – 9.00 PM
Entrance fee: Free

Subscribe by emailing us: at and we will send you the Zoom link so that you can participate in our presentation of this book.

Personal coaching tips

This week we will share some videos on ‘Life and learning skills for students’. We will upload one of these videos every day on our page.

Kwik Brain Episode 13: How to Take Notes for Rapid Recall – YouTube

Life Skills – YouTube

Life Skills and Citizenship Education in Schools – YouTube

LIFE SKILLS – Self introduction – YouTube

The 4 Elements of my Morning and Evening Routine | Jim Kwik – YouTube

3 Powerful Strategies for Personal Evolution | Jim Kwik – YouTube

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