Giving Back

A Mother's Day Story

019f043a198eb6d293f4_cd73b23e432989beaed5_1BAB83E0-3D86-4E0B-995E-17406AAA973A.jpeg
Sanjia (DJSkillz) on his graduation day from Brookdale Community College where he earned an associates degree in computer science. Here he is practicing the art of parkour.
240a5f3bc12307c91266_IMG_8897.JPG
DJSkillz (Sanjia)
187c57c4c324e70abf6d_d02f96addfbece85e8a6_IMG_8898.PNG
Sanjia and the art of Parkour. Backflipping over the sunset at Mullet Bay Beach in St. Maarten.
df6b832070e243b6fe2b_IMG_8895.JPG
Sanjia with Darlene and Shawn Field
019f043a198eb6d293f4_cd73b23e432989beaed5_1BAB83E0-3D86-4E0B-995E-17406AAA973A.jpeg

HOLMDEL, NJ - There's a saying we've all heard, 'you can choose your friends, but not your family members'.  Well, for the Field family in Holmdel, they have a different tale to tell. It's a story about family, the selfless love of two mothers, and about dreams coming true.

Holmdel's Darlene Field says, "While on vacation in the Caribbean Island of Sint Maarten in March of 2013, we met Sanjai, now known to many in New Jersey as DJ Skillz, at the Sonesta Hotel where we were staying.  He was working as the DJ at the hotel and also managed the Kids Club there. Our son Aidan, who was seven at the time, had a great week with Sanjai, sharing so much fun together in the hotel's Kids Club. Aidan was very sad to say good bye to him the morning we left. That's when we all agreed to meet again, and Sanjai who was coming to the U.S. for a visit, promised that he would make sure to see us all again." 

Then they parted, the Field family went home to busy day to day life in New Jersey, and Sanjia continued his work at the hotel in Sint Maarten.  So often in life we promise to keep in touch. Even in our own hometown we run into someone and may say, 'let's get together, let's stay in touch' ... and then life and time takes over and it often doesn't happen and then we bump into them again, maybe... 

Sign Up for E-News

The Field family kept in touch with Sanjai and they knew more than anything that Sanjai's dream was to attend college and the island he is from does not offer higher education.  Sanjia's family in Sint Maarten knew he wanted to go to college. Being one of ten children, that dream was not easy to achieve and would obviously mean separating from his family and life in Sint Maarten. 

Field continues, "We kept in touch and a few months later Sanjai came to visit us and he was the DJ for a big party for our son Avery, who was in high school at the time.  We had a great visit and talked to Sanjai about the possibility of enrolling in college in New Jersey and we offered for him to live with us. We knew very well from previous conversations with Sanjai that his life's dream was to come to America for college. His island is very small, only 37 square miles, and there is no opportunity for education after high school. It was after his visit to us in the States, that we welcomed Sanjai to move in with us and he accepted. We became Sanjia's host family while he has been attending college and we've really never looked back, he is a part of our family. We have visited his family and his family has traveled here to visit all of us. I am friends with his mom and his grandmother. When he's not studying or working, he's sharing time with us or traveling. My children enjoy sharing many common interests with Sanjia. My son Avery is a musician and a sophomore at Rutgers majoring in linguistics. Sanjia introduced him to the Brazilian martial art of Capoeira.  It's a mix of acrobatics, martial arts and dance. Sanjia and Avery enjoy concerts together.  Our son Aidan  loves practicing Parkour (street acrobatics) with Sanjia.  Our relationship with Sanjia is living proof of how someone from a totally different culture and background can have common values, and become each other's family."  The Field family which now Sanjia is an important part of enjoys bike riding together, trips to the Jersey Shore, and just everyday moments. Sanjia has extraordinary talent in martial arts, acrobats and dance. That combined with  his DJ jobs and his studies keeps him very busy. DJSkillz says, "I realize how fortunate I am to be a part of the Field family and I am so appreciative to them."

See video here of Sanjia practicing the art of Parkour: 

 

Sanjai Rambhadjan was born and raised in Sint Maarten, an island only 37 square miles in size, but spent a lot of his childhood in Suriname and Holland.  He speaks Dutch and has family in Sint Maarten, Suriname, Holland and America. The oldest of six brothers and three sisters, Sanjia is very familiar with helping out the family and pitching in. It wasn't long after moving in with the Field family in Holmdel, that Sanjia, after attending Brookdale Community College graduated with  an associate's degree in Computer Science. Now Sanjia is a full time college student attending CUNY, and majoring in Computer Science. Sanjia built upon his knowledge as a DJ and now has earned a great reputation for himself as a popular NJ DJ; DJSkillz. He's playing at Donavan's Reef in Seabright, Vibe in Hazlet, Rooster Spin in New Brunswick and Teak in Red Bank. DJSkillz also does private parties, school and community events. For example next month DJSkillz will be the all night DJ for the Holmdel High School Project Graduation.

See video here of DJSkillz DJing:

DJSkillz (Sanjia) comments, "I love having the opportunity to live in New Jersey and be so close to NYC and the Jersey Shore.  I am experiencing the American life with a wonderful family.  Darlene and Shawn (Field) are role models to me and are enabling me to live my dream of succeeding in college. Of course I miss my mom and all of my family, and the warm weather and beautiful beaches, but my family supported me coming to America and living my dream of earning my college degree.  Without my mom's support to come here and Darlene Field and her family's support I would not be living my dream. I am so thankful."

So on Mother's Day Sanjia has two moms to appreciate: His mom who lovingly raised him and now with her selfless love has enabled her son to travel and live far away from her to live his dream. The second mom he appreciates is Darlene Field, a mom with a heart big enough to love her two sons, and have room to love and care for another. 

All photos and video used are with permission from the Field family.  You can email DJSkillz hereDo you have an interesting story to talk about? email jwall@tapinto.net  

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Providence

Lord Stirling To Host Hunter Pace On June 3

May 26, 2018

BASKING RIDGE, NJ – The Friends of Lord Stirling Stable and the Somerset County Park Commission Lord Stirling Stable will host the Spring Private Horse Hunter Pace on Sunday, June 3, 2018 beginning at 9 a.m. with the last team departing by 1 p.m.  

Lord Stirling Stable is located at 256 South Maple Avenue in Basking Ridge, NJ.  The Hunter Pace is ...

Union County College President Received Prestigious Award from Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society

CRANFORD – Union County College’s President Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin was one of 35 college presidents from throughout the nation to receive a Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction during PTK Catalyst 2018, the Society’s annual convention, in Kansas City, Missouri, held from April 19-21.

The award honors college presidents who have demonstrated ...

A Better Summer with the Y: Join by May 31 and Have Your Joiner Fee Waiver!

From now through the end of May, new members joining the Berkeley Heights YMCA will have their joiners fee waived, because at the Y we believe that everyone deserves to reach their health and wellness goals. With a savings of up to $95, you can focus on the perks of being a Berkeley Heights YMCA member:

Unlimited attendance to more than 100 group fitness classes a week
• State of ...

How the Holi Color Festival Came to Summit; Event Planner Shares Her Story

May 21, 2018

Back in India, Holi was a holiday observed by almost all states. The holiday would be declared at all educational institutes and offices. It's a two day spring festival also known as the festival of colors. The festival signifies the victory of good over bad, the arrival of spring with the fragrance of flowers in the air and aura of warmth and happiness.

Holi festival is the time ...

Fallout Continues from Lawsuit Against Mountainside; Police Chief on Administrative Leave

May 19, 2018

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – Police Chief Allan Attanasio is the latest member of the police department to suffer repercussions from a complaint filed against the borough on May 11.  Attanasio, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, was “placed on administrative leave,” on Thursday by Borough Administrator and former Police Chief James Debbie, said  Lt. Joseph ...

Cycling Champ Laura Van Gilder Returns to Somerville Memorial Day to Defend Race Title

May 26, 2018

 

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Laura Van Gilder, 54-year-old cycling champion from Cresco, Pa., will return to defend her title at the 75th annual Tour of Somerville on Memorial Day, attempting an unprecedented fifth win in the 25-mile women's race, just one of several races that begin at 10:30 a.m..

The Kugler-Anderson Tour of Somerville, often referred to as the Kentucky Derby of ...

Coach Bottone Tribute

May 19, 2018

2017 Pioneer football players took on a tall task of filling a lot of open spots with not many returning players. We had 30 kids on our football team who all wanted to be there. With a new head coach who just came on board in late April, we had a lot of things to do without much time. Most people would say being on a 1-9 football team would be no fun and, at times, it wasn’t, but it was the ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_0906ca383804ad4ba17c_tai-chi

Sun, May 27, 9:30 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Tai Chi Chuan

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_f2342d687dc0c02ade5e_rec_swim

Sun, May 27, 10:00 AM

The Connection, Summit

Recreational Swim

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_fc9553e9258ab1b1cc8b_paolo_zumba_teacher

Sun, May 27, 11:00 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Zumba meets Bolly DazZ

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_3c7abbb40c05a3108a26_yoga_stretch

Mon, May 28, 11:00 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Hath Yoga Flow

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_e7f53aa67b8e7cb310c5_vinyasaclass

Mon, May 28, 7:00 PM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Alignment Based Vinyasa

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_3c7abbb40c05a3108a26_yoga_stretch

Tue, May 29, 9:15 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Essential Hatha Yoga

Health & Wellness

The Evaluation of the College Search

It’s is a bizarre time of year as a college counselor as I find myself at both the beginning and end of this process.  Sophomores and juniors are excitedly and idealistically starting to consider what will be important to them in a school.  At the same time, while only separated by a year or two, my seniors have all committed within the past month to a school and have spent the ...