Charlestown-Nevis- She was born and raised in Jessups Village and attended the St.Thomas’ Primary school, where she received her early education.
However, she migrated to the USVI where after facing some initial challenges with bullying, she excelled and later progressed to achieve a Bachelor’s degree and a Masters and is currently working on a completing her doctorate.
Teshanne Phillip is adamant that she always cherishes the land of her birth close to her heart and is always willing to give back to her people.
Her desire to give back caused her to make contact with Miss Zahnela Claxton, Director of Youth on Nevis, who in turn helped to collaborate with Principal Education Officer, Mrs. Palsy Wilkin, in ensuring that Miss Phillip and her friends were able to come to Nevis, to lead out in several motivational sessions, geared to the young people on the island.
She did not come alone but instead brought along an impressive entourage of experienced motivators who helped to make the weekend experience a tremendous one for the youths on Nevis.
The weekend of activities was divided into several dynamic segments:
The afternoon of Friday 2nd September was dedicated to finalizing plans with Director of Youth, Miss Zahnela Claxton and Chef Maxcel took time out during the course of the afternoon to lead out in a Basketball session at the Grell Hull-Stevens Netball Complex for Primary school and early secondary school boys.
He also used the opportunity to motivate the youngsters towards seeking positive paths in life.
Saturday 3rd September was the highpoint of the trip.
From 11 am to 1 pm the focus was on the little girls of Nevis, aged 5 to 12, in a session that was aptly dubbed: “Little Princesses.” This was held at NEPAC.
The preliminary session was ably chaired by Director of Youth, Miss Zahnela Claxton who also gave welcoming remarks and included an invocation by Mrs. Shelisa Bartlette-Charles and a piano rendition of the national anthem.
Principal Education Officer, Miss Palsy Wilkin then gave brief remarks and thanked Miss Phillip and her group for bringing such a program to Nevis. She also thanked the parents and the children for being a part of the event.
Dances were then performed by some of the little princesses and then the twelve year old daughter of Miss Phillip, Kyrah McKay also did a fantastic dance presentation.
The motivational speakers then made their intriguing presentations, sticking to a level of communication with the young princesses that was easily followed.
Miss Teshanne Phillip made a presentation on the topic: ‘I am a princess because I am BEAUTIFUL.’
She elaborated on some of her early difficulties in life and showed how she persevered by God’s grace to be a major achiever and a huge success story.
Miss Lakeisha Dixon then presented on the topic: ‘I am a Princess because I am Smart.’
The vivacious Pastor out of Atlanta, focused on the importance of prayer and even taught the children how to pray and got some of them to do public demonstrations.
Miss Zahnela Claxton delivered the vote of thanks.
That same afternoon, Celebrity Chef, Maxcel Hardy conducted some food demonstrations for the benefit of aspiring chefs and cooks, from some of the schools on the island.
There was also quite a lot of food available for the evening event.
Later that evening, the curtains came down with a focus on the older youths with another educational session at NEPAC.
The session was chaired by Miss Zahnela Claxton who offered welcoming remarks but she was preceded by a prayer done by Jaquan Phillip and the national anthem which was beautifully rendered by Miss Maia Hibbert.
Kyrah McKay and the Shekinah dance theatre then wowed the receptive audience with separate dances.
Chef Maxcel Hardy then did the first motivational presentation on the topic: ‘Your determination matters/your life matters.’ He gave a historic overview of his life leading up to his current status as a celebrity chef, who is renowned worldwide and who has cooked meals for many of the top Basketball personalities and other well-known individuals in the USA.
Miss Teshanne Phillip spoke on the topic: ‘Your attitude matters.’
She reiterated some of the things she went through as a little girl, leading into her adult life and how with God’s help and the support of family members and friends, she was able to overcome hurdle after hurdle.
She gave a rundown of her life and travels starting at the St.Thomas’ Primary school, to her exodus to the Virgin Islands, overcoming elements of bullying by excelling in track and field and culminating with her academic successes and her career goals being realized.
Miss Lakeisha Dixon spoke on the topic: ‘Your worth matters.’
She was proud to state quite boldly that at age 37, she is still a virgin and that is so because she has purposed in her heart to save herself for the man she eventually marries. She told the young people present that they too can set goals and achieve them, BY GOD’S GRACE.
Interspersed with the presentations were some question and answer give aways for some really nice prizes.
Additionally, a dance by Alphonso Henry; a solo by Nayala Daniel; a trio by Nayala, Maia and Senova, served to move the audience in a huge way.
Brief addresses were also delivered by Asst. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mr. Kevin Barrett and Miss Londa Browne, Education officer. Both education officials had high praise for the work ethics of the motivators and opined that the link between the Youth Department and Education Department, can only bring good results in the future.
The motivational speakers all encouraged the young people to set realistic goals and work towards achieving them and allow God to lead out in their lives and not let anyone deter them from making positive achievements in their lives.
Monday 5th September proved to be a very emotional one for all involved. The visiting contingent was officially bade farewell by Minister of Social Development, Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams and her team, who was instrumental in hosting the visiting speakers and ensuring that everything went well for their stay. She also gave them an open invitation to return at their earliest convenience.
Hon. Brandy- Williams thanked them for their work with the youths of Nevis and opined that their visit would bear much fruit.
The three speakers all thanked everyone who had made their trip possible and so worthwhile and exhilarating and vowed to be back.