Virginia Echols, host of the Women at Work talk show on KREM Radio/TV, was one of the 19 women awarded by the Women’s Department at the Outstanding Women’s Award ceremony on March 27, 2013.
The ceremony was a part of the International Women’s Month activities. The Women’s Department chose to honor women from each district and invited agencies to choose women from their organizations to be honored for their outstanding work and contribution to their organization or communities.
Echols was chosen by the Mattie Roter Outreach Women’s Group, which visits the women who are in the Belize Central Prison. She founded the group in the early 2000s.
Echols said she doesn’t do her work for recognition but felt honored to have been recognized by others.
“I don’t look for praise; I don’t look to be recognized, but when you are recognized you can’t help but feel honored and proud that people recognize what you do for the community,” she told Amandala. “I felt overwhelmed with the nomination. Even though I got the group together, doesn’t mean that I want recognition for doing it.”
Originally from Detroit, Michigan, USA, Echols began her career in the dental industry working as a dental assistant, instructor, and collections expert. She founded the consultant agency Dental Auxiliary Service, Inc. in 1982.
As a Peace Corps volunteer, she spent three years, from 1983 to 1986, in Liberia, West Africa. She then worked as a collection agent for Liberia Telecommunications and later became the Director for Admission and Student Records at the A.M.E. Zion Community College in Liberia. She left that country during the Civil War in October 1990, then she moved to Belize in 1993.
Echols later became a member of the Board of Governors at the Dorothy Menzies Child Care Center. She is now the Director of Credit Master Systems in Belize. As a member of the Board of the UBAD Educational Foundation (UEF), Echols is responsible for programs at the Library of African and Indian Studies.
Echols, a missionary of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (A.M.E.), hosts a radio ministry show called Moments of Inspiration which started in 2000. The radio show is based on the principles of the A.M.E. Church and is conducted under the motto “Get lost in the music; Get found in the message; Get up with God.”
Echols said she is grateful for all the support she gets from her family, friends, and all the people around her and that she looks forward to the continued support for all her endeavors.