Home » Why we chose to stay: Jennifer Hodge

Why we chose to stay: Jennifer Hodge

What is your background? 

I did MAVO and then HAVO and in both years I was Valedictorian. I didn’t really take studying seriously, I used to do enough to pass and then I came to Holland and I did Nursing in Hogeschool Zeeland in Vlissingen, however, I did not complete that. I moved here to Rotterdam and now I’m working to become a Pharmacy assistant  

What do you find the biggest reason is that people do not return to St. Maarten?

The biggest reason is opportunity. There is no opportunity unless you know people that can get you a good job. I know there is the feeling of no place to go to develop their career and if they do its again with the vriendjes politiek and if you don’t know the right people, then you are not going to make it. And if that is the case, then why go back when you have something good here.?

I also think the cost of living is something to be considered.  People who make minimum wage, if you want to get brown bread it’s about  Naf. 6 guilders, or yogurt is like also high, so its like to get fresh fruit or veggies it’s very expensive down there in comparison with up here. You can just go to the market and you can get things you need. So, it’s a lot of things up here that make it more attractive to stay. St.Maarten is not giving you a reason to come back. I mean most people eventually move back because they have their family there and you to be with your family. If you have kids you want them to be around their grandparents and I believe that is one of the reasons that would make me want to go back, so that my son can be with my parents. But if we are talking about building a professional career and money, then it’s a No. Its not a prospect that St.Maarten has.

What do you want to focus on while in UPG?

Honestly, for me that has been something that  I have been thinking about. Right now, I am seeing UPG as more of  something that will help St.Maarten more than it helping me. When i’m thinking about “What do I want to do?” I am still not sure. My main goal is to help and be able to provide for my son so that he can do whatever he wants to do.  But how am I going to provide to do that, I am not sure as yet. So I’m hoping that in working in UPG will bring clarity or more ideas as what I can do pursue that.

  So at the moment, you just want to help wherever you can?

Yes, and if I’m getting help in the process then that is a bonus, but for now I just want to help.

How do you think your background will  help you to accomplish the goals that you have  set out for yourself in UPG?

Because my background is nursing and that is in essence helping people, It’s  helping to me help others.This is just an extension of the kind of help I can do, I can do physical help or help in other areas.

What do you want others to know about UPG, if someone where to ask you?

A group of young professionals who are from St.Maarten and are trying to make a difference in St.Maarten by teaching and giving people the tools become either business owners . entrepreneurs themselves.

 

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