Why Miami Children’s Initiative?
When you invest in a child from birth through adolescence, it fosters relationships and they grow. This is a philosophy that helps to outline and overcome systematic barriers that have been instilled in the minds of children who live in poverty, it can help break the chains and obstacles that are placed by societal factors. By allowing children to see that each individual is not the same and each organization is not the same, helps to form the bonds of trust; and can essentially create a broader prospective for change. Miami Children’s Initiative has not only established this connection with the Liberty City residents who live in the Impact Zone, but has changed the very negative perception the total Miami community has related to the children and families of Liberty City.
What’s the best part of your work?
The best part of my work is making the Team job easier by helping and assisting them in areas where difficulties may arise. Working to make sure the organization is properly fiscally managed, and of course my ultimate skill SHOPPING for each program!!!!! To ensure we have supplies and materials in place to successfully run our programs; so our children can receive top of the line service without having any need or want.
What’s your most memorable MCI experience?
My most memorable MCI experience has to be when I taught a child to tie his shoes. I was visiting our school site and I saw this cute little child with his shoes untied and I walked up to him and said, “Hi! Why don’t you have your shoes tied?” He said to me: “my daddy never taught me to tie my shoes”. So I sat down with him, shared a song that I knew he would likely to remember and taught him to tie his laces. So now every time he sees me, he says look Ms. Shanika (points at his shoes) and ties them in front of me. Knowing you can make a pinch of change so minor, can bring joy for a lifetime; and that’s exactly what it did for me.
How has MCI impacted your life?
MCI has allowed me to place myself in the shoes of others, to see the world how others see it; to go outside of myself, my life, my circumstance, my situation and think of what others are going through. MCI selflessly gives without wanting anything in return. Which then allows me to do so adamantly and persistently. Loving my brother as I would love myself.
Please name your favorite childhood character real or imaginary.
My favorite childhood character was Betty Boop!