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Senator Whitaker's AgriFest Journey: Reconnecting and Building New Community Ties



Senator Genevieve Whitaker had the pleasure of engaging with an incredible array of community stakeholders, friends, and supporters at AgriFest. Among the remarkable individuals she had the honor to meet were the founders of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. (VI Chapter), Carmen and Cenita Heywood, who continue to inspire with their dedication to educating children in aviation.



Retired Virgin Islands Police Corporal Renholdt "Rookie" Jackson, a stalwart in youth engagement through the Police Athletic League, also impacted Senator Whitaker. He showcased the impressive work of his students—constructing a sink, refurbishing old bikes, and cultivating plants while learning about their medicinal value through hands-on work.

Senator Whitaker's engagement with Evworth Charles, the Career and Technical Education Center welding instructor at the St. Croix Educational Complex High School further underscored her commitment to education and workforce development. His contributions to our community are truly commendable, and encountering individuals like him made the AgriFest experience even more memorable. Senator Whitaker also serves as a Board member of the Virgin Islands Career & Technical Education Board, aligning her efforts with initiatives such as offering visitors the opportunity to test out Virtual Reality (VR) technology at the fair. This initiative, championed by Senator Whitaker, her team, and the Board and staff team, aims to bridge classroom learning with real-world career experiences. The endeavor, facilitated by VR training technology goggles, is building crucial pathways for the future workforce, an outcome stemming from the SkillsUSA conference attended by the board and staff in 2022.





During and following Senator Whitaker's term in office, she remained deeply engaged with local farmers in support of our food security. At AgriFest, she had the opportunity to meet with new farmers, fostering connections and collaborations to strengthen our agricultural sector.


Special recognition goes out to Ms. Chaselle McConnell, the Virgin Islands Department of Education  St. Croix District Teacher of the Year, whose dedication to education and mentorship is truly inspiring. A Spanish teacher and the Junior Achievement Site Advisor at Senator Whitaker's alma mater, the St. Croix Educational Complex, Ms. McConnell's commitment to her students is exemplary. Senator Whitaker also had the privilege of meeting Mrs. Carol Peters-Menders, an educator and entrepreneur whose dedication to nurturing young minds is truly commendable, as she also owns Paradise Enterprise Tutoring, providing invaluable tutoring services to the community.




Senator Whitaker reminisced about her involvement with the original Junior Achievement Virgin Islands team back in 2011, spearheading efforts to establish the JA Company program. This initiative aimed to provide invaluable learning experiences covering financial literacy, career readiness, and entrepreneurship—a testament to her enduring commitment to education.


From heartfelt conversations with community leaders to witness the incredible work being done by our youth—constructing a sink, refurbishing old bikes, and cultivating plants while learning about their medicinal value—Senator Whitaker was deeply moved by the spirit of community and innovation on display.

Senator Whitaker appreciates the various government agencies and organizations that shared valuable information, including a special visit with the incredible staff and consultant at the Caribbean Green Technology Center's Energy Village who served as a guest on the radio show.


Stopping at farmer booths and chatting with the Commissioner Nominee of Agriculture, Dr. Louis E. Petersen, was a wonderful opportunity to express gratitude to the Agriculture Festival Board, fair workers, greeters, and all the vendors who made the event possible. Congratulations to the winners of the livestock, food, and farmer's market competitions—your hard work and dedication are truly commendable!





Senator Whitaker also had the pleasure of catching up with her former colleagues Senator Marvin A. Blyden and Senator-At-Large Angel Bolques Jr., strengthening bonds and collaboration among legislators for the betterment of the community.

But it wasn't just about business—AgriFest was also a joyous occasion for reconnecting with loved ones, enjoying delicious food, and immersing ourselves in our rich cultural heritage.

The sounds of local bands filled the air, and Senator Whitaker even had the pleasure of joining Calypsonian Chester Brady's Reveling Masqueraders troupe, spreading joy and celebration throughout the festival.

And let's not forget the importance of family and friends—sharing this experience with loved ones made it all the more meaningful. Here's to many more moments of community, connection, and celebration ahead!












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