National Executive Director, College Readiness Access & Retention Institute (CRARI)


The executive board of the National Alliance for the Advancement of Haitian Professionals is proud to announce the appointment of Marlyn Paris-Lawson to its leadership team as the National Executive Director for the newly established College Readiness Access and Retention Institute (CRARI).

Marlyn Paris-Lawson is the proud daughter of Haitian immigrants. She is a dynamic, passionate, results-driven bilingual professional with over 25 years of combined experience in education, social services, and human resources. Marlyn is a 10-year veteran in the college preparation industry and is President and Founder of CRAMS Consulting, LLC. College Readiness, Access and Motivational Services (CRAMS) is a comprehensive pre-college enrichment service which is based on a proven, time-tested college preparation and college access program designed to prepare, engage, and empower students for their journey to college and in life. Mrs. Paris-Lawson has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Florida State University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Barry University.

As the former Take Stock in Children Project Director of the Upward Bound Program, Marlyn is credited for implementing a life-impacting, federally-funded program at Miami Edison Senior High School, an underperforming school in Little Haiti. Upward Bound is a signature program, under the umbrella of the US Department of Education, designed to help low-income, first generation college-bound students prepare for post-secondary education. In addition, her sound academic tracking strategies, coupled with innovative student advocacy and engaging motivational workshops are contributing factors which have resulted in over 800, at-risk students’ acceptance to college with full/partial tuition-scholarships, in the last eight years. Furthermore, through Marlyn’s advocacy and extensive community partnerships, four of her students have earned all- expense paid trips to Africa and Costa Rica in the last two years.

Mrs. Paris-Lawson has assisted and influenced over 800 students in their journey to college throughout the United States and proudly boasts of producing recipients of the following scholarships over the years:

  • Gates Millennium Scholarship
  • QuestBridge Scholarship
  • Silver Knights Awards
  • Sun Life Financial Rising Star Scholarship
  • Posse Foundation Scholarship
  • Ford Salute to Education Scholarship
  • Golden Drum Scholarship
  • Miami Heat Foundation Scholarship
  • Cruise Industry Foundation Scholarship
  • Jason Taylor Foundation Scholarship
  • North Miami Educational Foundation Scholarship
  • Take Stock in Children Scholarship
  • Burger King Scholars
  • Maya Macey Scholarship
  • 4-Girls Scholarship
  • Morera Foundation Scholarship
  • Association of Haitian Physicians Abroad Scholarship
  • Bayfront Foundation Scholarship

Furthermore, Mrs. Paris-Lawson is best known for her passion to motivate students to tap into their inner-selves, work to their potential and earn their way to college through hard work, perseverance, dedication and self-reliance. Through her efforts, Marlyn has been recognized for her exemplary work in the areas of education, social services and human resources. She is the recipient of numerous awards including:

  • City of North Miami: Proclamation
  • Legacy Magazine: South Florida Top Black Educator in 2015
  • Haitian Evangelic Baptist Church: Contribution to Education Ministry
  • Bank of America: Neighborhood Excellence Emerging Leader
  • Miami-Dade County Commission: Outstanding Service Award
  • Miami-Dade County Public Schools: Proclamations for: Junior ROTC Project PASS Advisory Chair and Mentoring
  • Take Stock in Children: Excellence in Program Management
  • Telephone Counseling and Referral Services: Unsung Hero
  • Take Stock in Children: Excellence in Program Growth
  • North Dade Regional Chamber of Commerce: Beyond the Bell Community Partner Award
  • Junior Leadership Corps: Citizenship Award

In bringing her expertise and talents to the National Alliance for the Advancement of Haitian Professionals, Marlyn will serve as National Executive Director for the newly established branch of NAAHP: College Readiness, Access and Retention Institute (CRARI), in this role, she will develop, implement and oversee the college readiness programs throughout the United States beginning with the five states where there is a significant gap in access to higher education institutions amongst Haitian students and other minority groups, namely, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Georgia and Maryland. Please join us in welcoming Marlyn Paris-Lawson to our executive team at the National Alliance for the Advancement of Haitian Professionals.