Celebrating Black History Month: Nikenson's Journey Inspires Positive Change

people that inspire

A Life Marked by Resilience and Passion

There are a lot of people like me who have the potential. Who could be doing things, but they don't have the resources. They don't have these opportunities. That's why I don't take what I have for granted

Nikenson was born in the vibrant yet impoverished country of Haiti, where his mother raised him. Today, he’s working hard to continue creating and experiencing a beautiful life in the United States alongside the woman he loves. To celebrate and honor Black History Month, we are showcasing glimpses of Nikenson’s journey. 

 

While this annual observance traditionally spotlights American history, it also serves as a powerful symbol of resilience, achievements, and contributions within the global Black community. The message of Black History Month transcends borders, reminding us that the stories of strength and triumph are shared by Black individuals worldwide. 

Surpassing Limitations

Our connection with Nikenson goes beyond shared professional interests; it’s a testament to a kindred commitment to leaving the world better than we found it. Throughout Nikenson’s life, crucial moments have shaped the person he is today. One significant aspect of his impactful journey is his work with Jou Nouvo, a non-profit organization bringing hope to Haitian children. But before taking on such an important role with Jou Nouvo, Nikenson faced his fair share of adversity.  

 

Born into poverty in a country where life can be tough and opportunities can be limited, Nikenson’s story begins with the fight for education. Confronting this struggle head-on, Nikenson ardently pursued his schooling, securing half and full scholarships that became steppingstones to completing high school and university in Haiti. He became the first student in his entire family line. 

This journey stands as a testament to his unwavering commitment to overcoming obstacles and striving for a better future. When reflecting on this time in his life, Nikenson credits God and the work he put in. 

“...in my faith, we are put on the earth for a reason. We can't waste that opportunity. That life that you are given—you can't waste it.”

The Power of Positive Contributions

As an adult, he began working with Jou Nouvo. In his words, “I managed to secure this position at Jou Nouvo as a program director, which obviously puts me in a better position to take care of my family.” One of his proudest impacts was enabling his mother to retire, a testament to the profound change he brought to his family's life. This position was a significant achievement, made possible by Nikenson's resilience and relentless pursuit of opportunities, even in the face of limited resources.

"And I even have been able to make my mom retire."

As a program director at Jou Nouvo, he not only supported his family but also uplifted the community. He was about to create opportunities to educate Haitian youth and to help them acquire leadership skills and develop their own sense of community involvement. 

 

Even as Nikenson has transitioned to life in the United States, he continues to support Jou Nouvo. In his role as a US-based volunteer, he donates countless hours of expertise. From grant writing and coordinating fundraising events to program administration and development, donation coordination, collecting supplies, and contributing to website and database development, Nikenson remains actively involved in advancing the organization’s mission. 

What's Next?

The next opportunity Nikenson has created in his life is the chance to start a family. As he shared with us, “Starting a family, it excites me the most. I never had the opportunity to really live to the full extent, like a complete family experience with the dad and the mom. I really never had this opportunity.” 

 

In Nikenson’s journey, he has always aimed to create more opportunities for himself, his family, and his community. Looking back, Nikenson shared, “There’s a lot of things I could have done if I had access to the Internet at home, to electricity at home. It’s a lot of things that I could have done, but I couldn’t.” 

 

Now, he’s using his experience to support youth in the US, directing them on the path to success. It’s a journey fueled by his past, where he achieved similar goals with even fewer resources. Nikenson’s story is a reminder not to take any advantages we have in life for granted. 

 

But in this awareness, there’s also an encouragement—not to give up. As he states, “success is when opportunity meets preparation.” Nikenson faced challenges, yet his journey is full of determination. He has inspired us to appreciate what we have, understand the struggles others go through, and most importantly, keep going towards our goals, even when things get tough.

Success is when opportunity meets preparation

As we honor Black History Month, we challenge you to draw inspiration from Nikenson and strive to create a world where determination and empowerment inspire lasting, positive change. 

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