Students receive Hero’s Journey awards at Vocational School


Front row from left: Arthur Spanner, coach Myriam Haar and Sharnun Lake and assistant principal Mrs. A. Hermelijn; second row from left: school counselor Natasha Richardson, Francis Baker, Jude Alexis, assistant-coach Debbie Zwanikken and Malacai Williams. Eric Johnson and Jeremiah Martina are not pictured. Photo contributed

TSXM – St. Maarten – Seven Vocational School students received last Friday their very first award for courageously concluding the first part of the Hero’s Journey, an emotional coaching program to help children and adolescents to connect with their inner self and to empower them to get reacquainted with their gifts and talents in order to support them co-create a positively meaningful future for themselves.

“With the creation of Powerful Kids coaching program Powerful You took the first step on its way to achieve its vision which is to contribute to bullying prevention at school and to curb youth criminality in our communities by introducing children of all ages to tools such as the arts, love of nature, and wellness,” the program’s coaches Debbie Zwanikken and Myriam Haar stated in a press release.

The two coaches decided to lead these adolescents on their personal path to discovery through their quest for a steady relationship. “Getting the certification requires great courage, from these young people caught in a system that tends to focus on the left side of the brain, practically ignoring the right side where our creativity and our emotional intelligence reside, among other things. In today’s demanding times speaking from the heart is a forgotten practice and a mysterious language Myriam Haar is re-introducing in children’s lives,” the press release stated.

Assistant Principal Mrs. A. Hermelijn and Counselor of the school Mrs. Natasha Richardson attended the award ceremony, where Debbie Zwanikken handed over the awards to the following recipients: Arthur Spanner and Eric Johnson (with great honors), Jeremiah Martina (with honors), Malacai Williams and Jude Alexis (with distinction) and Francis Baker and Sharnun Lake (with merit).

“We thank these wonderfully courageous adolescents for sharing their journey with us, for being our exceptional teachers along the path and we celebrate their commitment and determination through the past five months. It was a pleasure to serve them,” the coaches stated in the press release. “Equally deserving is Mrs. A. Hermelijn for her high level of consciousness, her great heart toward the children and for understanding our vision. Our deep gratitude goes to Mrs. Natasha Richardson for standing by the students through their ups and downs with such compassion. We are happily looking forward to resuming the program again as a team after the summer break.”