Posted: Friday, July 23, 2021. 2:54 pm CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Youth activist Renata Samuels has been chosen by the United States Embassy as the Youth in Focus Spotlight for the month of July.
Co-host of the Sun Up on 7 Morning Show, Renata is also the U-Report Officer for the Department of Youth Services, and aspires to be Prime Minister of Belize one day, according to the US Embassy.
“Young people are the backbone of the society,” said Samuels who believes the country should invest in the mental wellbeing of Belize’s youth.
“It is critical that we invest in the country’s most precious asset.”
The US Embassy noted on its social media post recognizing Samuels that she is an advocate for mental health and children.
Samuels, who already gained her Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Galen University, is now pursuing a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management at the University of the West Indies.
During her time at Galen, she was vice-president of the student government and was pivotal in the drafting of the university’s first Student Government Constitution.
From her post as Communications Officer for the Department of Youth Services, Samuels rose to Chair of the Department’s board.
At the Department of Youth Services, she made contact with UNICEF becoming lead facilitator in the Helping Adolescence Thrive (HAT) program advocating for “the development of guidelines on mental health promotion and preventative interventions for adolescents.”
In 2018, Samuels presented data on mental health studies which she and a team from HAT and the Ministry of Health conducted in Belize, at an international gathering in Capetown, South Africa.
The US Embassy said that in 2019, Samuels helped modernize the National Youth Policy of Belize while facilitating a series of focus groups.
Aspiring to be Belize’s Prime Minister, Samuels currently manages an ambassador program while being coordinator of the Department of Youth Services U-Report platform through which she facilitates a network of young people, noted the US Embassy.
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