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She is a co-pastor at her church and she is also a 15-year career educator who has also recorded her own single in the studio and although COVID-19 has somewhat affected her progress, she is rebranding a fashion boutique she co-founded with a friend.
Meet Monix Hetemeyer, a young graduate teacher /lecturer of New Amsterdam, Berbice, a mother of two who co-pastors at a church under the umbrella of The Full Gospel Denomination in the Ancient County. She said that she holds her religious values in high esteem and when she is not teaching or finding new ways to elevate herself as an educator, she continually dedicates her time to God.
Hetemeyer has been teaching for some 15 years to date. She started her career in the profession at the New Amsterdam Multilateral School back in 2007. She enrolled at the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) in September 2009 and after years of experience, she decided to make the sacrifice and read for a Degree in Education at the University of Guyana’s Turkeyen Campus in 2017.
She said that she decided to pursue a career in education simply because she loves sharing knowledge.” I love being witness to the fruits that come from the very act of teaching. I solemnly believe that education should be transformative. This is the only way that our world will encounter change,” the educator noted.
Recently, she started lecturing Spanish at the University of Guyana Berbice Campus; she is the only Modern language lecturer there and while the experience is new to her, she is adjusting nicely to the environment of higher learning, more so at the helm of the classroom.
But her administrative skills as an educator came to the fore last June when she launched the Teacher’s Initiative Online Programme- an online, voluntary initiative which she noted has matured into a forum.
“School reopened in September so I turned the page into a resource page for parents, educators and students. So at first it was The Teachers’ Initiative Online Programme but now, it’s the The Teachers’ Initiative Forum,” she said of the initiative. She said she collaborated with some of her colleagues and formed a core team. “So it’s a team now who is running the page, she said as she noted her satisfaction at how she turned her thoughts into a forum. She said the Facebook page is growing every day and at the moment there are 950 followers and there is have a student group on the page called: The Students’ Portal.
Many singers, local and overseas, have started their careers in the church and Hetemeyer is no different. Her hit song, My Everything which she wrote and recorded was posted on Youtube in 2017 by Guyanese singer Samuel Medas, who composed the song. “The song is my expression of all that God has been to me. He is my everything hence the name,” she said of the single.
She said she started writing music when she was in her early teens but she never recorded although she was encouraged by her peers and relatives to visit a recording studio.
“I never recorded that until I was 30. I grew up in church, and I’m talking from since one year old. I’m a committed Christian,” she said. Hetemeyer said while in church I started singing and made her voice known.” I sing for Jesus and that’s why I love it. He gave me a talent and I’m using it for His honour and glory, it’s that simple,” she added.
As regards the song , she said that she a member of a band and eventually the group encountered Medas and Vijay Deolall , the owner of the studio. She said the band did a collaboration with Medas and from that experience she eventually recorded the single which has chalked up over 5000 views to date.
“Singing is a great passion of mine,” she said with a broad smile.
Co-pastor at the church
Hetemeyer co-pastors alongside her husband at the Redeemed Full Gospel Fellowship in New Amsterdam. She has been married for almost 14 years, she said noting that she has been able to take a leading role in preaching at the church in recent years. The opportunity came when the umbrella body of the church, the Shalom Full Gospel, asked her husband to lead the congregation at the smaller Angoy’s Avenue church.
The church undertakes a number of activities in the community at Angoy’s Avenue and these include clothing drives. There is also a children work ministry. “We have persons who give to the children. As of present, we are about to start a mental health programme in March with child psychologist, Michelle Amsterdam,” she added, noting the latter is her sibling and she too is passionate about working with the children in the area.
The church is about to start a feeding programme for the children and this will run every three months until it can be done on a monthly basis. “As a church our goal is to share the love of Christ. We recognize that we are dealing with human beings so therefore, we not only want to cater to the spiritual aspect but we want to cater to every aspect of that individual’s live. That’s our core value as a church. In other words, we just don’t preach, we act as well,” Hetemeyer noted.
Hetemeyer is also a budding entrepreneur but when the pandemic his Berbice, she and her business partner was forced to restructure their business. The venture is called ‘Dance Accessories & Hidden Treasures Online Boutique. This business is a partnership with her friend Sheantta Henry. She said that the duo is restructuring and rebranding the venture , noting that it was a thriving business prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For Hetemeyer, undertaking her roles in the community and in her home will continue to evolve. She hopes to undertake more work in which her contribution to the education system will be worthwhile and long-lasting.
She said she would like to form an organization that fosters networking among teachers. This would ensure the educator achieve greatness, noting that,” we can’t work in isolation, we educators must see ourselves as a whole unit hence the networking. This will involve massive sharing or resources, ideas, and innovation,” she said in a passionate tone. Hetemeyer also plans to read for a Master’s degree in Education Psychology. My values are God, Family, Education and Altruism, in that order, she added with a smile.