I wanted to thank you Lady Sergine for giving me this opportunity to share my experience with your readers and for being such a supportive and inspiring soul. I am happy to be featured in the blog.
Tell my readers a little bit about yourself ?
Well, my name is Tracy. Back home in Haiti, most of my friends and family call me by my middle name (Dayanah). I don’t mind either one. I like them both (lol). I currently live in Atlanta, GA but I was born in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. I moved to the U.S at the age of 12 and I am now 22 years old. I recently moved back home to Atlanta after attending college in Miami. I graduated with a Bachelor in International Studies and will be starting school again this fall for my Masters (yayyy!!!). I wear many hats but I will try my best to summarize it all. During my spare time, I enjoy listening to music, chatting with friends and shopping (I love shoppinggg J). I am involved with many organizations and groups. I am former president of a Haitian Student Organization back in Miami called HICA (Haitian InterCultural Association). I was recently added as a board member with a non-profit organization working to build schools in Haiti. I am very involved at my home church (Stone Mountain First United Methodist Church) where I attend a yearly mission trip, give back to Haiti through our yearly Haiti goat project and many more. I am also working with one of my good friends, Dashka on her organization, Project We Care. My dear friend, Alyssa recently started her organization, C.O.M.B.S Foundation and I am also part of the board. As many of you might already know, I am big on community development and I enjoy giving back to the ones less fortunate than me. I am very passionate about helping others and honestly, it is one of the greatest feeling ever. Okayyy, I think I said enough now lol…
What was the experience first like moving to a foreign country ? What’s your advice to others?
I moved to the U.S at the age of 12 and it was an eye-opening experience for me. Growing up in Haiti, coming from a school like Institution du Sacre Coeur, I came in with certain expectations and quickly found out that the American school system was nothing like Haiti’s. One of the things that shocked me the most was the level of disrespect amongst my peers and their teachers and how far behind they were. I ended up skipping a grade when I moved here. I started the 6th grade and within couple weeks, my teachers asked for me to move to the 8th grade. The transition itself was not bad. I adjust well in new environment but I think what made this hard for me was the fact that I missed my friends, my school and my family. Overall, it was a great experience. I don’t regret moving here at all but at the end of the day, just like the saying says, “Home is where the heart is” J. My best advice to anyone moving here is to be aware of your circle and the people you call “friends”. This is extremely important in this country. You can be with the wrong group people at the wrong time so be very careful with the people you associate yourself with.
How did you come to have such a beautiful relation with God. How as your faith impacts your life ?
Wow, this question deserves a whole blog itself but I will say this, I would not be here today doing this interview and telling you guys about all the great things that I am doing if it was not for God. I am forever grateful for all that God has done for me. It is my faith in him that got me through college, through the death of my grandmother, through my breakup and through all the moments when the devil really thought he had me. I am planning on writing a book (really soon) and I hope to share more about how God has manifested his love and grace in my life!
Why did you attend college in another state ?
I use to come and visit my dad every year for summer vacation when I was still living in Haiti and one of the places that I fell in love with was Miami. I always said that I will move there one day. So, when it was time for me to pick a school. The one school that was right at the heart of Miami was no surprise at all. I turned down so many schools and scholarships but I had my heart set on that specific school and that’s exactly what I did. I don’t regret it at all. My parents were not too happy with my decision but being the rebellious soul that I am J, they finally accepted. One thing about me, I love challenges and I like changes. I love experiencing new things, meeting new people and most of all, I like to prove others wrong. Many of my family members thought I wasn’t going to make it and that I will be moving back after a semester but forgot I was a Capricorn lol, we never quit! But, seriously, it was one of the best decision that I ever made. I met some of the most wonderful people. God works in mysterious ways. Moving away to Miami was one of those experiences. Moving away to another state is not easy but I can honestly say Miami felt like home and I never really doubt my decision to attend college there. If I could go back, it would still be me my top choice.
What was your experience like in college ? Was more than you think college life would be ?
Ohhhh wow, this question requires a whole book lol. Those four years were some of my best years and don’t get me wrong, I did have days were I was ready to go back home to my parents but it’s the growth that I encountered which made my experience so agreeable. I say this a lot. College is what you make it. Whether, you are attending Harvard or the community school down the street, our experiences will never be the same for sure and not just because one is a more prestige and well-known than the other but because we are all trying to find who we really are. I know some people think that attending a big school or an Ivy League automatically means you will have a better experience than the ones attending a smaller school. I don’t quite share that same belief simply because college is really what you make it. I attended Barry University, a small private catholic school and still enjoyed my time. Will do it all over again!!!
What was your Most memorable time in college?
I love when people ask me this question J. I have a lot of great memories but one of my best college experience was when I became president of HICA (the Haitian organization I mentioned earlier). I became president at a time where my life was hectic. I was taking 6 classes, working 3 jobs, and being a president but it was honestly worth the late nights and all the sacrifice. I met some amazing young Haitian leaders and had the opportunity to share my passion for Haiti through this experience. I would definitely do it all over again. Big shout to the current board!!!
Your biggest accomplishment so far ??
One of my biggest accomplishment was graduating from college this past December and I know this sounds cliché and all but I was very proud of myself. Proud of myself because I know what it took to get here. I can proudly say, “I earned that diploma”. Working full time and being a student full time is far from easy and on top of it, maintaining a 3.8 GPA. I look back at my graduation pictures and all I can think of is how strong and determined I grew up to be. Lord knows, so much happened during those four years but I made it through. My mother is my motivation in life and I saw how happy she was when I walked that stage. So, mission accomplished!
What’s Life after college? Is it any exciting or not what you was hoping for?
Well, graduating was exiting lol and now it’s on to reality. I am enjoying life after college so far. I am happy that I moved back to Atlanta. I am interning at the Haitian consulate and currently working for a medical company which is not in my field but I love the exposure that I am getting to certain aspects of the medical field. Although I love the job itself and the people I work with, I am not looking to make this a long term thing simply because I don’t like to settle. I am aware that many times after graduation, we tend to get jobs that have nothing to do with what we study and ended up staying with that company for a while. I set very high goals for myself and I don’t want to settle for anything that will deter me from my goals. My main goal now is to go back for my Masters and work for an international development organization that focus on world hunger, at-risk youth and more specifically in bringing aid to third world countries.
Why is giving back so important to you?
I love to know that I can make a difference in someone’s life. My passion for helping others started when I moved here and joined my church. I have been on over 5 mission trips with my youth group where we spend a week helping those in need. I love being active in my community. I feel as if, we could all be the change that we want to see in the world. It starts with simple things like bringing toys to kids in need, feeding the homeless and reaching out to young girls in need. I do it because at night, I can go to bed knowing that I made someone smile today.
I’m curious to know your thought on pop culture ? Do you think it’s destroying our generation ?
I don’t really think that its destroying our generation. I think the problem is we look up to these pop stars on how we should carry ourselves. We look up to them for how we should dress, do our hair, and look and that, is the problem.
How would you describe yourself? One thing people would be surprise to know.
I would describe myself as motivated, driven and passionate I love taking on new projects which explains why I am so involved. I feel like at my age, I should have way more going for myself. I push myself every day. I am finally at a place where some of those things are coming to life. One thing that people may be surprise to know about me, hmmmm. Well, despite the fact that I am such an active person, I love to sleep and I go to bed really early lol.
What’s your Definition of Success?
Success to me is attaining a place where others are looking up to me and that my work is used as a form of inspiration. That, to me is true definition of a successful individual. Success does not always mean having the most money or the latest car. That will be nice too (lol) but to me, it is more of a mental thing. I am working to pave the way for others so that they could in return help others. I would say that so far, I’ve had many successes in some areas of my life but my true success story is currently being written. Slowly but surely!
How do you tackle anything that seems impossible ?
This question reminds me of my friend, Malika. She always tells me that I am one of those people that she is not worried about. To further elaborate on why, it’s really because of my personality and this go-getter attitude in me. Nothing is impossible to me. I don’t like to quit. I like to figure things out and discover different ways of doing things. I don’t get pressured easily. I don’t stress out about anything. I like to challenge myself. My mom always tells me “tifi sa, ou brave anpil” loll. That’s just me. I love challenges because they push me to go over and beyond. Sometimes, I am amaze at my own self but it’s a great source of motivation.
Is there anything exciting you working on? Anything you would want to share ?
Yesssssss!!!! One of the big things that I am happy to participate in this year is a medical mission trip to Haiti this summer. For so long, I dreamed of doing this and now its finally happening so I am super excited. I am also spending a week in Gonaives this summer with my friend Dashka’s organization. We are working on a summer camp for kids at an orphanage in Gonaives so I am super excited to work with them. I have couple of other things that I am working on as well but I can’t really disclose too much just yet .
Is there anything in you , you would want to change?
Honestly, absolutely nothing. I am at this stage in my life where I am learning a lot about myself and I am loving this woman that I am growing up to be. I remember back then, I use to hate my height. I felt like I was too tall and I didn’t want to wear heels but now it really doesn’t bother me anymore.
What does confidence mean to you ?
One of my favorite quotes is this, “One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that is trying to make you like everyone else”. Confidence to me is knowing that you are unique and still believing in yourself despite what others may think of you. If you’re not confident in your own self, you can’t expect to achieve anything in life because people will try to break you down. It’s that confidence in you that will help overcome those obstacles. I am very confident in myself. I know my strengths, my weaknesses and I know what I bring to the table.
Is it important for others to see you as a role model?
Yes, I love it when people come up to me and ask about the different organizations that I am involved with. I love spreading positivity in my community and to have someone look up to me means the world. That is the ultimate goal for me.
I love to ask young Haitians who live abroad This question . I’m always intrigue to know the answer .What are your hopes for Haiti? Is there any chances that you’ll Love to go back home ?
I argue with people on this everyday loll. For anyone that is not aware, I go hard for my country. Yes, somedays I get discouraged with my people but “lakay c lakay” and if we all decide to come here and not go back, what does the future hold for Haiti? I am already making plans to move back home. I believe in Haiti. I believe that we, this younger generation can help be that difference we want to see. I strongly believe that. I am starting small helping with different organizations all over but I hope to one day, create jobs all over Haiti.
Where do You see yourself f in a couple years? Anything that you want to achieve by a certain time?
Hmmmm well, I hope to be married by 24 and have my big Princess Ball dream wedding :0 loll. I’m just kidding. One of my main goals is to start my own non-profit organization by next Christmas. I have this really big project that I am working on to help end hunger in Haiti. I haven’t really talked about it much but so far its looking like a promising program. I pray that God will bless it into existence by next year.
What’s one last thing you would like my readers to know about you? Any one last words to the young people?
First, I want to congratulate you Sergine for this great concept. I love to see other young people doing big things. And, one last thing about me. I am open to collaborating with other organizations or anyone that wants to know more about my upcoming trips or projects. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am a really cool person to talk to and I am open to new ideas. I don’t bite at all so feel free to email me with questions or ideas. My last words will be to all my young Haitian diaspora. Guys, Haiti cannot do it without us, matter of fact, Haiti needs us more than anything else. I encourage you all to think about ways of giving back. It could be as simple as spending a day at an orphanage during your summer vacation before hitting one of those lavish parties that we all love (including me) or even donating to an already existing organization. XOXO!!
It was nothing but a pleasure to have this beauty feature in my blog! Nothing excite me more than watching my peers doing huge things, and to be so inspired by them. I love watching you on social media because you always up to good things and so inspiring. Talking to you it’s always fun and inspiring.
Lady Sergine 🌹💋