Dominica, W.I. - Armed with a dream and a vision of what could, should and must be, Ms. Anna-Maria Raffoul showed the world again that great things can happen if you are committed and surrounded with a supportive team who believes your vision. Indeed, big things can be spawned from little but a concept and a will to succeed.
This past weekend’s historic and successful OECS Junior Panorama was fueled by the energy and guidance of Ms. Raffoul. Speak to anyone who has interacted with her or knows her and you will hear “Did you speak to Anna? Anna will know.” She is viewed by others as a master problem-solver who they can lean on and depend on. She commands their respect without trying, and her infectious enthusiasm endears her to those who work with her. The young people adore her, women admire her and men respect her. This was readily clear as governmental officials publicly displayed altogether their praise, shock and quiet embarrassment, as they acknowledged that Ms. Raffoul had moved down the road this critical project with little or no help from them.
Dominica’s Junior Steelband Competition captures the imagination and interest of youthful onlookers
Ms. Raffoul saw the event as a success in her mind before it actually happened, and as having but one outcome. As one talks and observes Ms. Raffoul in action, you realize that failure was never an option. She is extremely shy, intelligent, serious, sincere, warm-hearted, loving, motivating, humble, humorous and ‘can-do’. She is a warrior who is not restricted to anyone’s parameters, definitions, guidelines, expectations or lack thereof. Moreover she waits for no one. If you are about “BS” she will flush you down with yesterday’s toilet paper.
Ms. Raffoul is a confident and successful business woman in addition to being a wife and mother - and cannot help but serve as a role model for the young people she guides.
She prefers to operate in the background, and shine the spotlight on the achievement of the young people and her team of dedicated disciples and enthusiasts. She is deeply committed to providing opportunities for the younger generation, and enriching the quality of life, especially for the Dominican youth.
Dominica’s Junior Steelband competitors
The strength and greatness of Anna is not so much in her considerable abilities and talents, but in her flair for inspiring others to be better. Simply put - Anna makes the people around her better at everything they do just by her interaction with them, and that makes her a true superstar.
There are many people who are stars in different arenas and backgrounds. Some real, some imagined. However, a superstar is one who impacts on everyone around them in a positive manner just by their presence. Anna Raffoul, even though she would never seek or accept such a name tag, is one through the influence she has on the lives of those who come in contact with her and her work.
Ms. Raffoul (left, foreground) escorts the President (next to Ms. Raffoul) from Dominica’s Junior Steelband competition
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