Wycliffe Smith, Leader of the Sint Maarten Christian Party announces that Shenella Browne will be contesting the upcoming elections on the slate of the Christian Party. Shenella is “Determined for Change”. Here is her story.
Most people call me “Shenel”. I am a proud daughter of sweet St. Maarten and was raised in Dutch Quarter. I am the fifth of seven kids and was raised in a joyfully large and close-knit family, where individuality and self-expression were encouraged.
Growing up, my mother taught me the true meaning of diligence. She is easy going, but takes every task seriously. To most, she is known as Mrs. Browne for 23 years at the Marie G. de Weever School. My father, now a pensioner, has given 26 years of service in the Ministry of VROMI, and like many of us, has contributed to the growth of St. Maarten. He taught me dedication to societal responsibilities.
My parents instilled in me solid norms and values such as honesty, respect for everyone and resiliency and I live by these to this day.
After graduating from the Dr. Martin Luther King School in 1998 I went to the Sundial School. At the time there was a stigma surrounding the school: that nothing “good” comes from it. But like many graduates then and now, this stigma has proven not to be true. I was determined to work hard and prove that I was capable of much more than just what my grades showed at the time. Hard work and effort made me eligible for consideration to transfer to the M.P.C (Milton Peters College). But just as life hits you a curveball, another student was chosen over me.
Nevertheless, I continued to push. I studied Basic Health and kept busy with various school activities. I also got the opportunity to follow a Jaycees Training Course. Some years later I took part in the 5th annual interscholastic Talent Show and came in 2nd in the Speech Division. After graduating in 2002 from the Sundial School I went to Curaçao and later to the Netherlands to pursue my studies in nursing, where I graduated as a LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse).
During my studies, I worked part-time to make extra money. Most can agree that having a side job during one’s studies is KEY! Being dependent on only study financing does not suffice. My side jobs included cleaning office buildings, working at the post office, call centers and care institutions. No job was too little or too great!
Having graduated in 2010 as a Medical Assistant, I was ready for the job market. I attended the Fred Expo in the Netherlands where the need for young professionals was expressed. Students were encouraged to return to Sint Maarten to serve in various areas. I got the opportunity to return home and serve my country with the skills obtained abroad.
I started my career in Sint Maarten as a Youth Health Care Nurse in the Ministry of Health, then moved to medical assistant and now I am a project leader in the field of healthcare at SZV.
I am sure that many young professionals would agree with me that it is amazing to be back home, especially with the intent to give back to the island and assist with the further development of the country.
Like many young individuals, I too had to cope with the “culture shock “of being back home and the challenges of overcoming this shock while staying focused on my goals. Some of these challenges that I faced as a young adult were being able to take care of myself, the high cost of living, housing and transportation and career opportunities. However, despite these challenges I stayed focus, worked hard and refused to give up. This is how I managed to persevere. To achieve your dreams it takes a level of determination, focus, and drive.
Having been approached to participate in St. Maarten’s 2018 election and to be part of the Sint Maarten Christian Party (SMCP), I quickly realized that this was an opportunity for me to bring that level of determination, focus and drive to bear championing change in Sint Maarten.
As a millennial, I believe that it is time for our generation to become involved in the reconstruction of the country and in developing a long-term vision for our people. Why the Sint Maarten Christian Party you might ask? That’s quite simple! The Party is built on a strong foundation called Principles! It is a party with a distinct ideology as well as a clear vision for St. Maarten and the people easily understand the Party’s principles and vision. I believe that the party offers me the opportunity to effect change in Sint Maarten. I feel a change coming, which is why I am determined to serve my country and my people for, Change!