NAAHP Member Spotlight on Victoria Donascimento
Each week the NAAHP highlights individuals who are making a difference in their communities as well as the business world. Victoria Donascimento is the NAAHP Outreach Coordinator, President of Students for Haiti, and a third-year medical student.
Victoria will be attending the 6th Annual NAAHP Conference. Be sure to connect and say hello if you see her this week!
10 Questions for Victoria Donascimento
Dominique Elkind, NAAHP: Tell us a bit about your personal background.
Victoria Donascimento: I became interested in the infrastructure and development of Haiti when I was in college and actively fundraised for the reconstruction of a rural hospital that was destroyed in the 2010 earthquake. After college, I helped found Students for Haiti, a national non-profit that supports grassroots projects run by local people with funds raised by students across the country.
NAAHP: What’s your current job?
VD: I’m currently the NAAHP Outreach Coordinator, President of Students for Haiti, and a third-year medical student.
NAAHP: How did your background prepare you for your current role?
VD: Various experiences throughout college and medical school prepared me for my work as President of Students for Haiti. Traveling to Haiti five times and learning basic Haitian Creole was essential to the success of the organization as well as networking with a myriad of philanthropists and Haitian natives whose insights laid the foundation for our organization’s development principles.
NAAHP: What is the biggest challenge of your work?
VD: The biggest challenge is always fundraising. Community members in Haiti have many project ideas so although there is endless opportunity for investment, it can be difficult to find enough investors. As such, we are incredibly thankful to the student groups that work hard to raise funds on our behalf.
NAAHP: What would you say have been your greatest career or personal accomplishments so far?
VD: My greatest personal accomplishment has been to raise a family while continuing as a successful medical student, President of Students for Haiti, and an active member of the NAAHP.
NAAHP: What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned?
VD: To be especially thoughtful when selecting colleagues or partners that you will work with in the future. Simply expressing interest in a project that you are running may not mean that a person will be as dedicated to a project as you hope. Also, try to identify people with a common vision to make it less likely that you will have conflicts as you move forward. It’s worth taking the time to identify multiple candidates before rushing to make a decision since feeling comfortable delegating work to them is of utmost importance.
NAAHP: How long have you been a member of the NAAHP? What’s your best experience thus far?
VD: I have been an active NAAHP member for two years. My best experience thus far has been forming lasting friendships with members of my work teams. I admire the people that started and continue to join this organization on a daily basis; they are so accomplished, have a great deal to teach me, and have proven to be steadfast friends.
NAAHP: What kind of advice would you give to fellow NAAHP members looking to grow professionally?
VD: Meet as many people as possible and talk to them about their views. Seek out people who think differently and always hear multiple perspectives. Travel to new places when possible. Investigate topics on your own, utilizing articles, media, and Youtube. There’s a lot to learn and many ways to intellectually grow.
NAAHP: Who or what inspires you?
VD: I believe that Jesus Christ sets the best example for human behavior, and His teachings continue to inspire me most in my day-to-day life. However, I also admire greatly the Haitian community members that my nonprofit has lent its support to over the years. These individuals remain determined and optimistic, despite the challenges they face daily. They stay determined to do good even when they see so much that is bad, and I try to emulate their attitudes and behavior.
NAAHP: When you’re not working, where can we find you?
VD: I love dancing with my husband and playing and listening to music with my daughter. I also love to travel and take road trips, when possible.