|Brenda Lee Henkis
Do you know what you want to
be when you grow up? Many people don't. Some just go along with whatever becomes
available and others pursue their dreams without success. Some say that their
lives are in the hands of "destiny." Destiny or not, this week we are pleased to
introduce a young woman who pursued her dreams and even though at times it
seemed they had been shattered, there was light at the end of the tunnel - Ms.
Brenda Lee Vasquez Henkis.
Brenda was born in San Pedro
on March 14th, 1964 to Monica
and Flavio Vasquez. The quaint fishing village of Brenda's childhood provided a
humble and happy environment to grow up in with her three sisters and two
brothers. She attended elementary school on the island and as was customary in
those times, Brenda then went in search of a job to help the family with
expenses. She first worked as a waitress at Paradise Resort Hotel and then moved
on to Ambergris Lodge (now Mayan Princess). Although she felt good that she was
helping her family, Brenda had always dreamt of furthering her education and
becoming a nurse. Because there were no night classes available on the island,
Brenda felt that her dreams would be only that - dreams. Nevertheless, she was
determined to reach her goals and decided to move to Chetumal, Mexico where she
could work in the mornings and pursue her high school diploma in the evenings.
She enrolled at La Valentin Gomez Farrias Secondary School and between work and
study, Brenda was able to achieve her high school diploma. Having accomplished
this filled her with a sense of pride and her ambition to succeed escalated.
Brenda was on a roll and went on to pursue her nursing career. After three years
of intense training and a year of required social service, performed at the
Social Security Hospital in Chetumal, Brenda was certified as a nurse. Brenda
excelled in her nursing studies and immediately after her certification received
a number of job offers from private doctors in Chetumal. Nevertheless, she was
ready to go back home and politely declined.
Back in San
Pedro and ready to put her skills to the test, Brenda was informed that she
needed to complete six months of social services before she was licensed as a
nurse here in Belize. It was this same time that her boyfriend proposed marriage
to her and she accepted. She moved to Grand Cayman Island with her new husband
where she worked with handicapped children for the next three years. Although
her marriage dissolved, it provided Brenda with one of the most precious gifts
she has ever received, a son - Eleseo Damian Henkis, now 12 years old.
Brenda returned to her birthplace in 1991 and was
immediately offered a sales position in the tourism industry. She accepted and
worked in this field for a number of years. In November of 2000 though, Brenda
was once again given the opportunity to work in the medical field. She describes
the incident as "destiny." The opportunity came when a resident of the island
accidentally chopped his finger and went to Brenda for treatment. Having the
necessary skills to treat this type of wound, she willingly accepted the patient
and attended to him on a daily basis until his finger was healed. Her kind
gesture eventually reached the ears of members of the San Pedro Lions Club who,
at the time, were looking for an administrator for their Lions Clinic. They felt
that Brenda was suitable for this position and on November 28th, 2000 she was hired. Today, Brenda Lee
Henkis plays a vital role in the everyday management of the San Pedro Lions
Clinic. Besides nursing, her duties include the collection of consultation fees
and daily record keeping. Brenda has also been very helpful with suggestions for
the recent renovation of the clinic. Ms. Henkis told the San
Pedro Sun, "I would like to express a heartfelt thank you to
the San Pedro Lions Club for giving me the opportunity to live my dream. I am
committed to do my best and to working closely with the Lions for the continued
welfare of the clinic."
During her free time, Brenda says
she enjoys being with her son. Together they enjoy watching educational programs
on the Learning and Discovery channels.
Brenda Lee Henkis
pursued her dreams during a time when things were very difficult. She strived
for her goal, did not give up and was finally rewarded with an opportunity to do
what she enjoys most. Brenda has brought new ideas and administrative skills to
the Lions Clinic. She has reached for the sky and managed to touch the stars on
her way to helping the lives of many people in "Our Community."