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Mar 8, 2011

Beverly Small, U.S. Embassy’s Woman of the Year

Despite all the bad news, there is the positive story of a remarkable woman. She experienced horrors, that included sexual abuse, but she didn’t allow it to keep her down. Beverly Small reformed her life and is now devoted to public service. Today she was honored as the US Embassy’s Woman of the Year. News Five Delahnie Bain has her story.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

The U.S. Embassy marked the International Women’s Day 2011 with the Woman of the Year award ceremony. Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally announced the winner, who he says, stood out for doing a lot of good with very little resources.

Vinai Thummalapally, U.S. Ambassado

Vinai Thummalapally

“This year’s Woman of the Year award winner is Beverly Small. She has an incredible story; a mind boggling story of someone who has essentially devoted her life for public service; the schools that she’s worked with, the churches she is involved in. Currently she is doing work with the prison in Hattieville. She has a Sunday school for children. She is supporting two indigent students who do not have money to put themselves through school.”

Beverly Small, Woman of the Year 2011

“It’s thrilling; it’s an experience I’ve never experienced before because I’ve never won anything in my life. So I guess you win when it comes huh. It’s a very prestigious award and I’m excited, I’m happy and I’m thrilled about winning the Woman of the Year.”

Beverly Small

Small is an ordained pastor from Sandhill Village with a life story that is both heart wrenching and inspirational. She spoke openly about her hardships, from being abandoned as a child to the abuse and addictions that followed.

Beverly Small

“I’ve been through a lot; I’ve been through incest, rape, multiple suicide attempts. You see that right there, razor blade mark that I tried to kill myself once because I thought that life just wasn’t fair. It’s not the victim mentality, it’s about overcoming. It’s when a person decides in their life that you know what I’m not taking it anymore. I’m going to stand up and I’m going to fight and I know that I can win and overcome. See it’s in overcoming that we are able to help other people.”

Laura Salas, Nominated Beverly Small

Laura Salas

“She has been raped by her step-father, she has been a drug addict one time and her life story has helped the youths around the village to help encourage them that they can also overcome.”

But Small says, her experiences fuel her passion to help others.

Beverly Small

“Whenever somebody is hungry, I know what it is to be hungry, when they come to me and they have been raped, I know what it is. So I have great compassion for people and sometimes so much so that I would work continuous hours, no time for myself but that’s okay because if we’re bringing somebody else through what they’re going through, for me that is okay because I needed somebody when I was going through it and there was nobody there.”

Vinai Thummalapally

“It’s just an incredible inspiration for all of us; not just in Belize but in the region and—if I could say—in the world because it’s a truly inspiring story. I actually didn’t know that her only child she bore, the father was her step-father. Talk about a horror story. It’s an incredible event that happened in her life but she spoke about it today to the shock of the audience because she was not looking for sympathy; she just made that as a point that she was able to overcome such incredible adversity.”

Britney Cabanas and Laura Salas, members of Small’s church, nominated her to highlight the work she has done.

Britney Cabanas, Nominated Beverly Small

Britney Cabanas

“Anyone who may come off the street, they hear about her. If you’re in trouble someone will tell the person you can go to that lady’s house and she will help them. People from off the streets walk right into her home and helps them, she opens her home to them.”

Laura Salas

“We look up to her as a role model for our spiritual life and she has really been there for my family as we have been through a lot and she has been there, strengthening us as a spiritual leader.”

Small will be the U.S. embassy’s nominee for the international Woman of Courage Award, which is given by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. She also received two tickets to anywhere in the U.S. courtesy of American Airlines. Delahnie Bain for News Five.

The runner-ups were Senator Coronado Villafranco of Pomona Village, Ignacia Reyes of Barranco, Myrna Pitts of Belize City and Dacia Tillett of Crooked Tree Village.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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7 Responses for “Beverly Small, U.S. Embassy’s Woman of the Year”

  1. Disgusted! says:

    What a harrowing tale of woe and a remarkable story of one woman’s courage, determination, resilience and faith in God. This really touched my heart and sparked a ray of hope amidst all the stories of bloodshed, violence, crime. corruption and poverty………. courtesy of dean barrow and said musa’s regimes!!!

  2. rod says:

    disgusted your head is warped the the udp gov has been in charge now for years and you still want to blame said musa well this gov. is the one to blame only dean barrow will go down in history whith having the most murders in our country more than the past 35 yrs he has managed to do in three years but yes this is a true story and a good one this lady deserves credit but is this is all this american embassy ambassador can do for our country wow this guy is another joke get out get out you are also useless vinaj please start doing something usefull things for our country instead of passing out awards as if we look like the american indians .

  3. soldierofgod says:

    true true, tears are in my eyes how i see those that come from good homes take life for granted. I hate the devil.

  4. Stephen says:

    You are a saint, but they always say those that have it do not want it and those that are good women get bad men life is not fair but you show that one can make a difference. I will always remember you and make sure I keep this clip for my children to see.

  5. Reina says:

    I am so proud of Ms. Beverly, she truly desserve this award. She is a remarkable woman.

  6. spanglish says:

    Thank God she overcome all those difficult trails, She deserve that award.

    As for ROD, you seems full of hatred for Dean Barrow, I am wondering if you were in love with him and he rejected you, I think you should go for some counseling with Beverly Small, maybe she can help you find some peace in your heart.

    Every time ROD post a comments is always negatives, cant you share something positive??
    Have you ever ask yourself who was the Leader at the time Miss Small was going through her rough life??? If I don’t make a mistake it was George Price!!! Hope you ROD don’t blame him for that too,

    aiaiai ROD your soul and heart is full of blackness!!!

  7. Disgusted! says:

    To Rod: pssssht! I all a spade a spade!!!!!!!

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