Influencer Gino de Windt
Interview June 2023
Gino de Windt, could you share with us some information about your family life?
I was born in Curaçao and I have another sister from my mother’s side that I was raised with. I do have 2 other siblings from my father’s side, that I didn’t grow up with. So I have 4 siblings 2 living in Holland, one living in Bonaire, and one living in Curaçao. My mother has played such an important role to help me become who I am today. She guided me to follow and stay on the positive side of things. I am 27 years old now and when I was around 13 and 14 years old, I was a rebellious adolescent and my mother was so dedicated to keeping me on the right positive track. I am grateful for that. My father was absent when I grew up so I have no connection with him. I am single and I have no children.
Could you share something about your educational background and your experience?
I have studied SBO the social legal specialization. I also went to the first year of Law school and also enrolled in Law School at the University level (UoC), but stopped as I started studying Social Work. I discovered my purpose in life and that was a very defining moment. And as I didn’t want to waste valuable time, I decided to do what I felt was “my calling” to do in this lifetime. My work experiences are best describes by the work I am doing as the founder and driving force of The Change Foundation Curaçao. I started this foundation three years ago. Our goal is to influence children and the youth and help them change their mindsets into more positive ones. We also want to increase their skills and know-how, so that they could become their best versions and get the most out of their lives. As a change agent I want to inspire and empower children and the youth these are the pillars of our foundation. We offer One-on-One coaching sessions, presentations, we write our own project documents and we become the project leader of those projects. I am a very experienced person, as I have gone through a lot personally.
As a student in social work, we have understood that you are very dynamic and you are aiming at changing mindsets among our youth. How did you got involved in this work of changing people’s mindsets?
I am reaching children and youth via our foundation. And yes I am a very dynamic person that has gone through a lot. My school career has been, that I was sent to the special education attending Dr. Nelly Winkel, a LOM school. After that I attended the Juan Pablo Duarte, AGO. After that I attended the Gouverneur Lauffer school and I entered that school at the PBL, level passed over to the PKL level and then entered the TKL level. And it was though. I went through a lot of challenges and I made a lot of sacrifices to in the end, graduating with a grade average of 9 and was even offered to continue and attend the HAVO, which I declined. I excelled by becoming the student with the best grades at AGO, VSBO, and SBO, and in this process I became the first person that has passed these different school systems moving upward. And this has been emulated afterward by no one. I was passionate, determined, and dedicated to my studies. But of late this fire from within has dimmed a little bit, as I re-prioritize my priorities. I still attend school and I am gathering more knowledge, but at the same time I am putting in less effort which results in my grades going down just a little bit, but at the same time I am dedicating more time to youth and what I believe Curaçao needs at the moment. I am a very confident person, I don’t need to prove myself anymore to no one, but I still add big value to our community.
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?
My purpose in a short sentence is: “To help positively as many youths as possible and by influencing these upcoming generations, I am influencing my country positively and by doing that, I influence the world. This is my God-given purpose, that I was ordered to work on”.
What are your plans for the coming years for the coming 5 years from now?
I want to continue to expand the foundation with more projects in the coming 5 years, with a period that is longer than 1 or 2 years.
What are the challenges that you are dealing with? And how are you dealing with these different challenges you confront?
My biggest challenge or obstacle is time. I started the foundation from scratch and no one but my inner motivation pushed me to start and built up the foundation. And this cost me a lot of time. I have some work that I do outside of the work of the Foundation, I am on my own and this brings with it a lot of responsibility. I lack time to do all the things that I want to do. So I am structuring my time even more efficiently to be able to do more with my scarce time.
Do you use your inner voice to evaluate when dilemmas show up? How does that work for you?
I am a very spiritual person. I am not religious but spiritual and I am a believer. Religious people are obeying lots of rules that were created by human beings, to help them to keep their footing. I believe that all of us have a direct relationship with God, that is a personalized contact.
I have this direct relationship with God, and I am very tapped into this. This means I can easily sense what I need to do. So for me, it is easy to choose and later on, trust the process for 100 %. There is a reason why you are so connected and tapped into this, but this usually develops over time and when you are young you lack the self-confidence to trust in this. God made me go through a lot of challenges to help me develop this self-confidence. Based on that I need to trust Him and feel confident in all the things I am doing or planning to do.
How are you trying also to keep up with your knowledge and skill levels?
I am still attending classes at the UoC, it keeps me sharp and updated, as they teach me methodology. My study at the UoC keeps me responsible and teaches me this.
Furthermore, I learn from colleagues and other people of which I am aware, that they have certain knowledge, so I ask questions to double-check if I am still on the right path and target.
What are your strengths?
I am very resilient. I have been through a lot of obstacles and I have fallen a lot of times, but I always stand up again.
I am mentally strong, and I am positive, although I know that bad things can happen.
But I also believe that no bad things are happening in life. Everything that happens and we go through has a reason, as we all have a purpose to serve in this life, and these challenges help me to learn and grow to become the person that I am supposed to become.
I have complete mastery over my mind and I control my emotions. If you can’t control your emotions people will be able to control you. It is for example very hard for anyone to make me mad.
Does controlling emotions mean that you suppress or repress your emotions? This is not recommendable.
No, I look at these moments as follows. We have to accept things as they are instead of resisting what we thought should be the outcome. People can disappoint me, but I try to never let them get me down. If people irritate me, I will self-reflect and ask myself what is God trying to teach me here. I will look at these people from a spiritual point of view not from a mundane point of view. I will look at things from a much deeper perspective. I will accept what had happen and move on, that is basically how I deal with those situations. If in one out of thousands of events, I get triggered and it gets to me deeply, I will still after a while re-group and learn the lesson(s) and move on.
Do you have hobbies or interests that you are also passionate about?
In nature I find peace, being close to the sea and the “mondi”. I love it.
If you Gino would meet a stranger on the bus (let’s say in New York or Medellín Colombia) and they would ask you to introduce yourself, what would you answer?
To tell you the truth, if I would meet a stranger on a bus, I will not start sharing a lot of things about myself. I don’t like to talk about myself. I will tell them my name only.
How would you describe Gino in one word or one sentence?
I am a Victor, not a Victim.
Who are the persons that have inspired you the most in your life and career?
I grew up in Koral Specht and the friends that I use to have in the past. Most of them have chosen to take the wrong path. My inspiration comes from them. I grew up without my father. I have learned to look at the bad things and derived the good things from those bad things. That is why I teach children and youth to higher values than just worldly things and money, there is more to it than just that.
What is a trait that is still a work in progress?
Use my time as well as possible.
What was a defining moment in your life?
The moment I was sent to special education, they sent me to AGO. They told me that once I got into AGO, I would not be able to surpass this level of education, and I proved them wrong. Going through the different levels of education from the bottom up, taught me to believe in myself and not in what other people, teachers, family members, you name it, what they thought about me. I finalized all these different layers of education with the best grades. This made me self-confident and unstoppable.
What would you want your Loved Ones, family, friends, and others to say about you let’s say 20 years from now?
They will talk about what I have meant for my country. And that I have taught the youth something that they are positively contributing to the country.
What makes you stay optimistic about the future?
I believe that based on where I have from and considering how I have changed, this means other youth can also become successful and change their mindsets.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
One thing is very important to mention, that when people read this interview they shall become aware of this. What I have achieved until now I couldn’t have achieved this without the help of God and by putting God in the first place. That I know for sure.
One of the 250 Influencers
Gino de Windt is a passionate, hardworking, deeply spiritual coach, mentor, trainer, presenter, and project leader that has shown a lot of resilience during his lifetime. A testimony of his resiliency can be noticed by looking at his trajectory as a school student. He is passionate, determined, and dedicated to his studies, which made him overcome lots of obstacles, as he was sent to the special education attending Dr. Nelly Winkel, a LOM school; attended the Juan Pablo Duarte, AGO; the Gouverneur Lauffer school and he entered that school at the PBL level passed over to the PKL level and then entered the TKL level, and as he underwent this, he excelled and became the student with the best grades at AGO, VSBO, and SBO. This while he grew up in Koraal Specht. This neighborhood environment taught him, how he shouldn’t behave and become, partially because of his mother’s deep involvement in his education.
As he was going through his Legal specialization at UoC during his first year, he decided to switch to studying Social Work, as that aligned better with his purpose in life. Discovering his purpose and doing what he felt was “his calling”, made him go into studying social work and starting The Change Foundation Curaçao aimed at influencing children and the youth, helping them to change their mindsets into more positive ones. As a change agent, because of his own extensive personal experiences, Gino inspires and empowers children and the youth. For all these reasons and his firm belief that Curaçao needs his talents and energy at this moment, we consider Gino one of the 250 Influencers of Curaçao, 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 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 2023.” 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;
As we will progress towards this goal, we will update you on the progress.
Personal Coaching Tip
This week we will share some short videos on ‘Mindset changes’. We will upload one of these videos every day on our facebook.com/share2uplift page.
Growth Mindset – YouTube
How to Change Your Mindset – Change The Way You Think – YouTube
Change your mindset, change your life – YouTube
11 Growth Mindset Strategies: Overcome Your Fix Mindset to Grow as a Person – YouTube
What Having a “Growth Mindset” Actually Means – YouTube
Coaching with a Growth Mindset | Simon Sinek – YouTube