Earlier this month I had the opportunity to take It’$ My Money international! I received an invitation from St. Jude’s School for Girls in Trinidad and Tobago to share It’$ My Money with 20 young ladies ages 17 and 18. St. Jude’s is a residential program that serves 50 local displaced girls. My goal for this trip was to enrich the lives of the students, allowing them to become financial scholars as they increase their application of financial tools through specific action steps. Over the course of 2 days I taught 4 workshops in which the girls received completion certificates and an autographed copy of my book.
Taniqua Hugley, a US Fulbright Researcher, played a major role in making this happen. She and I connected frequently for months going over plans, schedule, and the traits of the girls which helped me ensure the material was relevant and timely for those girls who would attend the sessions. Ultimately the trip was a huge success and the girls were so engaged. When our time together ended they gave me a thank you card and a Trini bag filled with local goods. The director of the program even requested that I come back next year. I’m thrilled to share this experience so keep reading to learn more about my trip!
Travel & Lodging
My intern accompanied me on the trip and this was her first time outside of the U.S. We had a direct flight from JFK airport to Trinidad on JetBlue airlines. Once we arrived in Trinidad we had the opportunity to stay on the UWI campus compliments of Trinity College. Maxi Taxi and H Taxis are common modes of transportation on the island. My intern and I had the most hospitable private transportation to and from airport and to the beach from Mr. (Uncle) Tony. He is a 13 year employee of Trinity College. We also truly enjoyed our hostess Ms. Hugley. This trip gave my intern an opportunity to have hands-on experience with an entrepreneur debuting her business and mission internationally. She helped prepare the materials and presentations for the girls and was the photographer.
Dining & Culture
I spent some time on the trip immersing in the Trinidadian culture. In Napa we had the awesome opportunity to sit in a Steel Pan Drum rehearsal with Akua Leith and the National Steel Symphony Orchestra which was very fun since the steel pan originated in Trinidad. We also visited the “Outlook” for a great view of Trinidad and Maracas Beach.
The meals in Trinidad were also memorable. We had dinner at Veni Mangi’ on The Ave, Bake and Shark from Richards at Maracas Beach which was my favorite meal, chicken roti, authentic Trinidadian Chinese, doubles and much more. Sorrel and Shandy were popular drinks on the island as well as coconut juice straight out of the coconut. Pepsi and KFC tasted very different than it does in the states. We drank lots of tea and bottled water. I must also mention that I am a huge basketball fan and the NBA Finals were taking place during my trip. Luckily, I was able to watch the 1st half of game 3 of the finals on “The Ave” on a large screen and comfy chairs with my Shandy (a soft drink made from a flower).
Budget & Sponsors:
The entire trip came in under budget by TT$262 ($37 US) - YES #practicewhatyoupreach
These young ladies would not have the opportunity to gain all the personal finance knowledge through the It’$ My Money workshops had it not been for the generous financial sponsorships from:
We THANK YOU!!! I want to also thank my supportive family, my mom, my husband and my daughter.
Y’all I can now add I am an International Speaker. I am still in awe and very humbled by my journey. I truly love that my works is helping many people, now all over the world.