What is your occupation and academic background and how did you come to work in this field?
- I am Senior Manager at Walmart Stores, Inc. working on corporate social responsible with a focus on women’s economic empowerment and workforce development. I manage a global portfolio of 60+ million dollars.
- I hold a Master in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts, double major, in International Relations and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies
What is the biggest challenge of your work?
Making sure that whatever work I do is scalable and sustainable.
Identify one or two of your proudest achievements?
- The Potter’s Hands work in Haiti. Seeing how emancipated the children are and watching them behaving like children bring me a lot of joy. When I just met those children, they could barely look at me in the eyes and could only give me monosyllabic answers. Today, they are thriving in school, they are happy, one wants to be an engineer, others wants to be doctors, nurses, and teachers.
- I am also proud of my corporate social responsibility work at Walmart. Through our work in workforce development and women’s empowerment, we are changing the lives of underserved men and women globally.
What leaders, thinkers or doers do you admire most?
I have so many, from leaders like Mandela and Wangari Mathai. However, I learn the most from and admire everyday people who in the face of life shattering adversities refuse to give up and continue to fight furiously with their head up high; people who have every reason to hate, but have chosen to love; people who live their lives with integrity and make the choice of doing what’s right even when it’s hard. Above all, I admire my parents—Mileus and Telise François. They are my inspiration. I wouldn’t be who I am today without them. They’ve taught me the importance of hard work, paying forward what life has given me, ethics, standing for what I believe, believing in myself, and being a good citizen.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I see myself running my own organizations and creating jobs for thousands of people in Haiti.
What would be your advice to young people who want their careers and lives to have impact?
- Be a life-long learner
- Know what you want, where you want to be. Focus on something that is bigger than you. Know your purpose in life. We all have one.
- Whatever move you make, keep the vision (the purpose) in front of you
- Nurture your spirit and soul.
- Do not waste your pain and mistakes. Learn from the good and the bad.
- Be humble
- Treat people the same way you would like to be treated
- Believe that you have what it takes to accomplish the purpose/vision and be successful
Did you have a mentor or do you mentor someone else? How has that experience changed you?
I have several mentors, but the most effective ones are those who don’t even know that I am learning from them. That is why it is important for me to live my life on purpose. People are always watching, even when you don’t realize it. So, as they are watching me, my hope is that they will learn a thing or two from me, that I will inspire them even just a little bit, that my words will always be uplifting to them, and the look in my eyes will tell them that I am cheering for them on the sidelines.