Anelia Daniel, the first of four children, is a lover of all things economics (except Econometrics) and a passionate advocate for women’s empowerment. Professionally, and in alignment with her passion for economics, she’s an Economic Support Analyst at the Ministry of Finance while at the same time she is the founder of the She Is Foundation, an organisation focused on the mentorship and empowerment of young women. Her mission is to create a safe space for young women to heal, learn and blossom.
The term “She Is” was chosen because of its definitiveness which allows the girls, with guidance, to use positive adjectives to describe themselves with confidence, forcing onlookers to simply accept, without adding, taking away or altering these empowered young women’s view of themselves. Anelia is associated with organisations such as Rotaract and Youth Government of Trinidad and Tobago, whose focus is on giving young people the freedom to do meaningful work that propels the country socially and economically.
Against all odds Anelia has been able to balance her personal and professional life with her motive to make this initiative as successful for the lives of many young women. We got a chance to catch up with Anelia to hear more about her journey. Check out what she had to share with us:
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome and how did you deal with it?
I think the biggest challenge I’ve had to overcome is facing the truth that everyone doesn’t have to like me and everyone will not like me. I’ve always sought validation from others, not because of a lack of self-confidence but because I like to ensure that everyone is happy and I understand that my actions don’t only affect me but it affects others, as well.
However, I think as I matured, I realised that the idea of pleasing everyone is impractical. We all have different personalities, ideals, and opinions and everyone won’t always be truly satisfied, happy or in agreement with my actions. I have to be who I am, and yes adhere to guidance from those around me. I strongly believe in learning from others’ mistakes and drawing on the wisdom of others, but at the end of the day make the decisions that I will be happy and able to live with, and ones that God will be pleased in. It’s still difficult at times but I think I’m on the right track.
What are you working on at present, what is keeping you excited?
Well, I recently started my Foundation and I’m in the process of planning activities for 2020. What happens is we meet with the girls every second and fourth Saturday of the month, discuss different topics that we believe would impact the girls mentally, emotionally and spiritually and enhance their personal development; or do different activities that will allow them to just be free and have a good time. The goal is always to improve their personal development. We know sometimes all they need is to de-stress and we enjoy just sitting back and relaxing with them.
I’m a planner so I get excited in the planning stages of anything in which I am involved. But knowing how much fun the girls had this year, after just three months of being with us, I’m excited to pour more into them and equip them with tools to be their best selves.
What is your ultimate goal or biggest dream for your future?
I have many “small goals” I would say. For example, I want to have my own talk show or web-series, take my Foundation global and at some point be involved in politics. When I think about who I am and the things I want to do, the overarching goal is always to positively impact and influence as many people as I possibly can and not just temporary influence or impact; I want to create a lasting impact on people. I want that when they accomplish their goals it was because of something I said or did to improve their situation, alter their thoughts and positively impact their mindset either directly or indirectly.
Tell us something about you that people may not know.
Even though I’m always busy and involved in so many things, I love to be at home. If I don’t have to leave my house for a professional event, errands or anything pre-planned, I won’t.
I love to curl up in my bed, chat with my parents, play with my siblings or watch Netflix. I think it’s where I’m most at ease and most comfortable.
What are you most grateful for and why?
I think my friends and family. God has blessed me with the best support system I could ever have. I never had to go far for support from others, my family has always been there, had faith in me and supported my every dream. My parents especially, they go all out. I believe it’s because of the environment in which grew up, that I’ve managed to choose the best friends I could possibly have, who are also doing BIG things. Even in my Foundation, the Board, mentors, and assistants I’ve chosen are my family and friends.