Born in La Pointe, Haiti on September 24, 1983, I am the third child in a family of seven. Since my father was living in the United States, my mother took the sole responsibility of taking care of us. In June 1997, my father finally had the chance to get us so that we could all live with him in New Jersey as a family. This is where I studied high school. At that time, I had little knowledge of the English language. It was fortunate that my parents placed me in an English as a Second Language (ESL) class so that I would have less difficulty trying to understand what the teachers were saying at school, and have better communication skills so that I can interact with my classmates. With the help of my ESL teacher, I quickly learned how to read and speak in English. I made good progress, which allowed me to be placed in the regular English classes by the time I was in my sophomore year. During my junior and senior years, I would always find myself dreaming about college, but this dream was suddenly thrown away when my dad suffered from a stroke.
I will never forget that day when my sister called to tell me that our dad was in the hospital because he suffered from a serious case of stroke that caused him loss of memory and speech, and paralyzed his left side. It was heartbreaking for me to see him lying there helpless and speechless. All I could think was how my mom, my sisters, and I are going to survive through this ordeal. I also felt that going to college was out of the question, and I had to get a job so that I could help my mother pay the bills. Even though things were rough for us, my mother still wanted me to go to school and she worked two jobs just to pay for the bills.
I looked for an alternative way to help me pay for school because I was really determined on receiving a college degree since this is the only way that I could help my family financially. I decided to enlist myself in the United States Navy so that I could help my mother and at the same time, take advantage of the educational programs that it had to offer. While serving in the Navy, I had the chance to work with people from different backgrounds. I learned how to manage my time and how to discipline myself. I also had the opportunity to travel to different places and countries including Hawaii, California, Florida, Australia, Chile, Brazil, and Singapore. It was a great experience for a young person like me.
However, even though I enjoyed my time in the Navy, I still wanted to go to college so that I could earn my bachelor’s degree in Nursing. I believe that education is important and that I would succeed better in life if I have a good education to back me up. I am glad that at this time, I finally have the chance to fulfill my dreams.