An Immigrant from Haiti: Making a Difference for Others

Written by  //  April 2, 2013  //  FAMILY & LEISURE  // 


By: Courtney D. Ward

Joane Theodule picGoing through struggles and adversity are often driving forces that push individuals to become unstoppable in achieving goals and making a positive difference. For Joane Theodule, experiencing overwhelming events didn’t deter her from making her dreams a reality.

Born in Haiti, but migrated to the United States at the age of 10; and raised in southern Florida, Theodule experienced what many immigrants face when arriving to a new country, a wake-up call, and it wasn’t easy. Theodule watched her mother struggle with the immigration process to become naturalized citizens of the United States. Learning the American language, trying to fit-in, and staying true to her Haitian culture, sparked her interest to become a future advocate for immigrants. As a first generation graduate from college, Theodule attended the historic Bethune-Cookman University to obtain her B.A. in political science and public administration. From there, she attended Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University to receive a Master’s degree in public administration. Currently, she is a law student at Indiana University-Robert H. McKinney School of Law, with a focus in immigration and family law.

“My passion for helping immigrants with the bureaucratic immigration process stems from being an immigrant from Haiti who witnessed the struggles of coming to America first-hand. There are no other areas of law that I find more fulfilling than this particular area,” says Theodule.

With Congress debating on appropriate immigration laws, for those in the process of trying to become naturalized citizens, the process could take even longer. According to the United States Homeland Security, “Persons naturalizing in 2011 spent a median of six years in legal permanent resident status before becoming citizens.” Throughout American history immigration law reforms have changed. Documented by the US Homeland Security, 2.7 million undocumented immigrants were legalized under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 becoming eligible for citizenship.

More than ever Theodule feels the need to be proactive in immigration and family law. “I want to be a voice for justice”, says Theodule.

Before attending college, Theodule faced the harsh reality of independence. During her junior year in high school, Joane’s mother kicked her out of the house for accusing her boyfriend of sexually abusing her. During her early 20’s, Theodule faced homelessness, low self-esteem, depression, fear and even suicidal thoughts and attempts. However, Theodule has acknowledged that through God’s love and grace; she’s soulfully happy and satisfied with her life today. Theodule credits “awesome” mentors who invested love, patience, and wholesome grounding for her development to be courageous and fulfill her destiny.

“My own life experiences and the lessons I have learned from them have become the foundation and core philosophy of my initiative which is based on love, compassion and a deep commitment to helping people create a balanced life filled with peace, prosperity and true happiness,” says Theodule.

Driven by the need to mentor and encourage young girls, Theodule, has mentored hundreds of young girls. As the oldest of four siblings, Theodule has always taken the role of responsibility to be a role model for youth.

In 2011, Theodule founded and started Helping Other People Excel, LLC, short for H.O.P.E. “The ultimate vision of my initiative is to reach out to millions of people nationwide and transform lives,” says Theodule. Through the H.O.P.E organization, Theodule is a motivational speaker and life coach. Some of the topics Theodule taps into are: how to manifest your destiny, building up self-esteem, pursuing dreams aggressively, learning the laws of attraction, forgiveness, and facing the temptations of being a young Christian. Committed to transforming lives, Theodule is determined to create change in the community.

Enduring the trials and tribulations of her youth and young adult life has given Theodule a solid foundation to overcome any obstacle that comes her way. Moving forward, Theodule simply says, “I keep my trust in God.” Motivated to reach her goals, Joane pushes through life’s challenges and embraces the blessings, to make a difference.

Joane Theodule’s Contact Information
Facebook: Helping Other People to Excel, LLC
Twitter: joaneinspires

 Courtney_Ward-NewCourtney D. Ward  “The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.” -Maya AngelouAs an up and coming journalist, Courtney D. Ward is determined to be an accomplished writer. A native of Atlanta, GA, Courtney attended Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis in News Editorial. In 2009, she received the Journalist of the Year Award at the Bethune-Cookman University Massey Awards Ceremony. She is currently a Feature Writer for Esteem Magazine.Visit her in “Twitter-land” @ writedayz.

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