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Why is it important to celebrate Haitian Heritage Month?

I believe it is important to people of Haitian background or descent, or to those who love Haitian culture. It’s nice to be reminded of our roots but to also celebrate the culture. There’s a lot of stigma attached to being Haitian, but at the end of the day, we are all people and should be proud of our cultural background even though Haitians, in my opinion, tend to be the most hated within Black culture. But this month acts as a reminder that we should embrace our culture rather than run/hide from it.

What makes you most proud of your community?

  • Regardless of all the adversity that we may face, we always prevail. We’re a community of hardworking people who don’t have any hard obstacles to throw us off our pedestals.

What are some values or traditions that you cherish most about your heritage?

  • Every new year, we have to drink soup joumou, which is essentially beef and pumpkin soup that you eat all throughout the day for every meal, a snack, anytime you feel like munching on something. You only eat what is supposed to be almost like a blessing for the year. That’s how we start off the new year.

How does your heritage influence your pursuit of education?

  • My heritage influences my education for a multitude of reasons. One being that, contrary to popular belief, Haitians really value education. Secondly, whenever I feel overwhelmed, I think of my family and ancestors and how I represent my whole bloodline and want to make them proud. It’s the push that I use as motivation to put my best foot forward and give it my all.

Are there any obstacles that you’ve overcome as a student?

  • Managing a work-life balance. Being a full-time student, working part time and still trying to maintain a social life. It can be a handful at times, which can be very stressful. It’s not perfect, and depending on the week will differentiate whether or not I have enough time for myself and my friends.

What are some other things you’d like people to know about you?

  • I love learning about different cultures around the world.
  • I absolutely love accents. I believe that they add more flavor to a person when they speak.
  • One of my many big goals in life is to have a nonprofit organization to help immigrant kids and families.
  • I’m very extroverted and get excited over almost everything. I’m a lover of life!
Todd Wilson
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