What is a leader?” John Quincy Adams once declared “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” If I never expressed my story to others. No one would know how much I have achieved in the past 17 years. I grew up in a Haitian-American household, with my mother, and my three younger siblings. My mother was born and raised in Carrefour, Haiti. She came to the United States to live with her father. While living here she learned how to mature on her own, drive on her own, and learned how to cook because at the age of 17 years old, she was living on her own because of family issues. Growing up I was close to my dad, but my mother demonstrated to me how to be a leader and how to be independent.
I was born in Colombia, South America and lived there until I turned seven. Before I moved to the states, I attended a public school and was on the competitive swim team for my school. I earned many awards the year and a half I swam for my school. I took pride in competing with girls three to four years older than me. I also remember how different things were there than they are here in the states. I lived in the city, Ibague, a city I remember as being pretty yet dangerous. The streets were not to roam when it got dark and you always had to watch your surroundings when you were in public. In Colombia, robbery is a major crime that goes on due to not enough jobs available for people. My parents got a divorced when I turned one. My older sister,
Returning from Haiti came with mixed emotions. I was thankful that I was able to go and experience God, but I felt empty on the inside. People had told me for years that serving others changes your life, but I did not feel that way. How could I live so extravagantly while there were people living without basic needs right across the ocean? How could I live in an enormous house while people lived in rusted shacks almost about to collapse? How could I throw out leftover food while others starved? I traveled to Haiti with ideas to fix the Haitians broken lives, but I as worked I felt useless and believed that I failed as a Christian. While I could not change the material poverty that the Haitians endured, I was able to build relationships with Haitian teens and show them love. By love, I mean God’s definition which is based on moral character that comes from Him and His teachings.
In her narrative essay “The Sanctuary of School,” Lynda Barry recounts a story from her childhood that illustrates her relationships at school vs her relationships at home. She tells us how public school was her sanctuary from her unstable home life. It was a stable environment that she depended on. She tells us this when she says ,"[F]or the next six hours I was going to enjoy a thoroughly secure, warm and stable world." Unlike at home, her school was a place she was noticed and cared about.
My first language is English but I also understand haitian Creole. I would say I am intermediate in Haitian Creole. I also think some words in Spanish are familiar to me because in Creole there are some Spanish words ( as well as some French). I want to be able to hold a basic conversation in Spanish or at least understand it. Eventually, i would love to be fluent or at least intermediate in the language to be able to communicate well with my future Spanish-speaking ELL students when I become a teacher. From this class, i hope to build a strong foundation of the basics.
My sister and I spent seven years without our mother. We had to educate ourselves on any and everything that a mother would teach her daughters. Those years were unyielding. Every day I yearned for my mother's touch. Haiti is one of the poorest countries, but to me Haitian people are one of the most hard-working groups that I know of. That is one of the reasons that I always work hard. I didn’t come from riches and I was not brought up with the mindset of waiting for someone to hand me the
I was born in a really poor place in the Caribbean called Haiti. When I was 9 years old, my family moved to the United States, because I was doing things I am not proud of. Later on, I went back to Haiti after an earthquake ravaged my homeland and left nothing, but destruction and sadness in the people’s lives. Some of my family were also still there. I called them to ask them how they were and to make sure they weren’t hurt. My family was safe and none of them died, but in some ways I was still unhappy with the look of the people, nation, and the land. It was really not a good time for me. I planned with my family to help them as much as I was able. Damage was everywhere. I was only ten or eleven years old and the earthquakes were still happening, so I couldn’t stay in Haiti for long.
I’m able to resonate with a plethora of things, yet the thing I consider my identity is I’m an adopted, Haitian immigrant.
I’ll never forget how I felt the first time I walked into Prairie Ridge High School. I was surrounded by approximately sixteen hundred other students and I knew exactly none of them. I had never been that alone before and when I walked through the cafeteria doors, I felt the first seed of doubt that maybe I should have stayed in Union, with my mom. At that moment, I wanted to turn around and run out of Prairie Ridge, hop in the car, and drive the four hundred miles back to my friends, my teammates, and the majority of my family. Instead, I took a deep breath and sat down.
I smiled gently as my feet sunk into the warm sands of the Punta Cana coast. During a short snorkeling expedition on the magnificent coral reefs, I was abruptly awoken by a loud series of bangs. Who was outside the door this time of night? As the banging got louder, my anger quickly morphed into terror. My mind began racing with the infinite possibilities awaiting me outside the safety of my bedroom. But wait, what if my parents were in trouble? In an attempt to save them from a burglar or a fire, I sprinted to the front door. To my surprise, there was no such danger: only my parents, a mysterious woman, and two policemen. After a brief encounter, my father and the woman were escorted out with a few of his belongings that he threw into a makeshift
I was born and raised in Sierra Leone, Africa. I came to the United States when I was 11 years old. I was happy for the opportunity to come to the United States and go to school. In Sierra Leone, only the rich get to go to school. I worked hard in school, taught myself how to read and write with the help of the Lord. When I started college, the environment became too much for me, I fell into depression. I felt lost, and empty. My grades were suffering. The harder I studied, the more my GPA suffered. I thought about dropping out of school. One day, I got on my knees and started crying, and talking to God. In that moment, I felt at peace with myself. I started fasting, and reading my bible continuously. I fasted for two weeks, at the end of my
It has been six years since I left Haiti at the age of four. For me it’s been a lifetime at this point. So long that I don’t remember any of the basic rituals of my family. Jet lag knocked me out so badly the night before, I don’t remember what I did after getting off the plane. Bleary eyed and confused I don’t understand why I’m being woken up. The desire to return to sleep so strong I nearly said a curse word. But in that moment a breeze blew in a mouth-watering aroma I didn’t want nor could ignore. My mouth was open to complain but my tongue sampled the scent and I was rendered speechless. I became so enveloped in the aroma that I barely noticed the coolness of the concrete floor nor the fact that I had even gotten up and walked to the kitchen table. My focus turned to the source of my tantalization. A cup that grandma placed on the table for me. It was just a simple cup of coffee with two sticks of cinnamon in it. The fragrant cup was match by an alluring flavor. It felt like a warm hug with a kiss from
When holding a Haitian flag, I experience one of the greatest feelings to ever exist. A rush of pride and happiness starts to invade my body. To see that red and blue in the sky, attached to a car or just in the hands of somebody else just places so much joy in my heart. As many times, I’ve encountered a Haitian flag the experience never gets old.
This is the story of about a racist dog that I personally experienced back in NOLA for a Mission Trip (New Orleans, Louisiana). So I went to NOLA for a Mission Trip two summers ago with my youth group from church. The trip was a great trip overall. I met new people that I still talk to, to this day. Now this is where things get interesting. So one day we had a day where we could go off into the French Quarters and explore and just had a good time. I believe the reason that they allowed us to do this is because if all the hard work we did the previous days. The food that they had was amazing, the city was in better shape than it was before Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. My group that I was with went into a little art store and pictures were
Tenacious. In 1989 Liberia, West Africa was faced with the economic stress of a civil war. In 1989, my parents were faced with leaving three children in that war. My mother had recently given birth to her fourth child in America, and returned to Liberia. When the war broke out the US Embassy would only let her bring my sister, the American citizen, back to the states. My parents were fearful, but determined. They refused to give up on their children. They made sure each one was protected by other family members. All three of them survived the war.