My name is Cassandre Joly. I was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and came to the United States at the age of eight. I have two older sisters and I was born with a twin, who unfortunately passed away when we were only three months old. I am currently a junior at FIU, majoring in Hospitality Management, and I am the recipient of a full-tuition scholarship that I didn’t even qualify for, but I went for anyways.
Over the years, seeking financial assistance for school has been a difficult endeavor, due to my Temporary Protective Status or TPS. TPS is a program that allows immigrants like me to remain in the U.S. temporarily due to ongoing conflict, natural disaster or other extraordinary reasons happening in our homeland. However, that did not hinder me from moving forward and seeking opportunities.
My mother was unemployed at the time and my father was in Haiti, working to make ends meet. I often balanced a full-time job and a part-time job while also completing my associate degree at Broward College. I am thankful for the support of both of my sisters Ericka and Taina through the process.
I will never forget the day when I suddenly became serious about my career goals. I was working as a cashier at Taco Bell and a customer was very upset with his order. I immediately realized the error and provided a sincere apology, swiftly corrected the order and provided a complimentary beverage and dessert as an additional gesture.
TheDream.US is the nation’s largest college access and success program for immigrant youth, having provided more than 5,000 college scholarships to DREAMers at more than 70 partner colleges in 16 states and Washington, DC. We believe that all young Americans, regardless of where they were born, should have the opportunity to get a college education and pursue a meaningful career that contributes to our country’s prosperity.