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Feb 26, 2016

Belizean Honor Student Called to the Bar

A new attorney was called to the bar this morning; she is Shanidi Chell from Orange Walk Town who distinguished herself as an honor student at the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica. Chell is not going to go to private practice immediately because she is currently employed as a Crown Counsel. Her family and friends shared with her the momentous occasion as she became a full member of the legal fraternity. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Twenty-four-year-old Shanidi Chell, a recent graduate of Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica, is one of two Belizean students to have recently made the honor roll at the prestigious university.  The astute, young lawyer, working as a crown counsel out of the D.P.P.’s office in her hometown of Orange Walk, was called to the bar earlier today.  It is an accomplishment, not only for joining the esteemed legal fraternity, but also for placing Belize on the map for academic excellence.


Shanidi Chell, Attorney

Shanidi Chell

“It’s definitely a great accomplishment on my behalf but it definitely did not come easily, you know.  You had to work hard and dedicate yourself, which I did but I accomplished it at the end.  It was myself and another Belizean student and we were two, as you said, two of the fifteen honor roll students who came on the honor roll list  throughout the Caribbean.”


Her colleague, Stacy Grinage, has also been called to the bar, the culmination of her pursuit to become an attorney. For Chell, this is simply the beginning of a professional path, a journey that, should others so chose, can continue to bring the country regional recognition.


Shanidi Chell

“I also want to encourage other students who are presently at law school to just continue studying hard and to know that at the end of the day, at the end of each exam everything will be worthwhile in the end and to just study hard.  You can also get on that honor roll.”


This morning, in the chamber of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay spoke on her behalf before a courtroom filled with family and friends.  She is the first in her family to have achieved this distinction.  Chell, born of humble origins, is an example to many aspiring prosecutors of the value of hard work.


Leticia Vega

Leticia Vega, Aunt

“With a lot of perseverance and working hard and having that dream and reaching for that dream with all determination that you have it’s possible and Shanidi is an example of that happening.  She worked extremely hard coming from a family with, I would say, struggling in a sense, but knowing the value of education and knowing the value as well, of service to our community.  So Shanidi has always excelled in school, from the time she was at Bishop Martin High School, valedictorian, you know, always excelling.  But she didn’t stop there, she worked hard to get an open scholarship to pursue her education in the West Indies, UWI, and now she is an attorney at law at the age of twenty-four.  It’s a possible, I would say dream, coming to reality and we are extremely proud of her because we come from a very large family in Orange Walk Town and it also says that with hard work, the opportunities keep coming and not saying no.  Actually working hard to reach that goal, it’s all possible and we are proud of her and at the same time I take this opportunity to encourage all those persons there who have those dreams, you know, to if they have that perseverance and energy to commitment and positive thinking and mindset it will be possible.”


With the oath having been taken, another young lawyer now enters into what can be seen as a rather saturated field.  For Chell, her area of concentration is civil law.


Shanidi Chell

“I was always inclined to the civil, civil law.  I like doing probate but I am currently employed at the Orange Walk DPP’s office as crown counsel.”


Isani Cayetano

“You’re being called to the bar today, what is the feeling like in terms of this particular accomplishment?”


Shanidi Chell

“Well it is yet another milestone I have accomplished or will accomplish in a couple minutes.  It’s a great feeling, I feel so happy. I feel so blessed to be here.  I would like to thank my family, my friends for being here with me today in this memorable moment and I could not have been here without them.”


Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.

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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1 Response for “Belizean Honor Student Called to the Bar”

  1. Marie says:

    Congratulations, use your knowledge in persecuting, but at the same time defending innocent people.

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