Counsellor, relationship coach and CEO of Enrich Life Ltd Dr Crystal Benjamin is advising youths and young entrepreneurs to seek out mentors who provide a good support system through advice and shared experience.
She was speaking during the NOW Nestlé Caribbean Youth Summit on Tuesday.
The two-day virtual event targeted youths between the ages of 16 and 29 and included workshops, presentations, mentorship, networking opportunities and motivational discussions.
Nestlé said the event was geared towards helping young people develop their abilities for the world of work, covering topics such as employability, entrepreneurship, agripreneurship and food and hospitality development.
The company said it has partnered with employers throughout the Caribbean with the aim of creating more than 3,000 jobs for young people over the next three years.
During her panel discussion, titled Get Unstuck, Benjamin attributed her success to the help of mentors and the support of family.
“Different people are in your lives for different reasons,” she said.
“Mentors have walked the road and were able to guide me.”
She told the youths that finding a mentor can be difficult but not impossible. She said it is essential to have the right mindset to take on tasks which seem impossible at first.
Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister and Caricom chairman Gaston Browne said Caricom’s vision for youth is for them to lead fulfilled lives as high achievers.
“All Caribbean youth must strive to be productive citizens, providing superior leadership and contributing to all facets of society,” he said.
Minister of Youth Development and National Service Foster Cummings praised young people for being resilient throughout the covid19 pandemic’s harsh effects, mainly the disruption in education.
“It is your reaction to adversity not the adversity itself which determines how your life story will develop,” he said quoting German aviator Dieter F Uchtdorf.
Mentor, entrepreneur, investor and TV personality on ABC’s Shark Tank Daymond John advised the participants to believe in themselves because no one else will.
John said having a Caribbean background did have an effect on his life since his father was from Trinidad and later migrated to Toronto.
“My dad always thought his day job would never make him rich, and that had a big role to play on me.”
He said people should keep educating themselves every day.
“Entrepreneurial-thinking people wake up every day and learn something new.”
John encouraged the youths to be persistent even when faced with rejection.
“I just kept getting doors slammed in my face until I found somebody who said I do see value in you.”
Financial advisor and mentor Selena Chin said success is not an entitlement, but having the right attitude and mindset is important.
Chin said changing one’s habits, focus and formula will help people reach their ideal end goal.
“The decisions you made yesterday brought you to where you are today.”
She said everyone is given 24 hours in a day, and becoming the person you are destined to be is based on one’s decisions.
She explained, people have the choice to choose their paths and there is not only one road to success.
“We all have to choose our paths and we can choose differently and still end up in our circle.”