Wendy Francois

Hometown: Naranja, FL

high school: Homestead Senior

college: Columbia University

MAJOR: Political Science

GRAD. PROGRAM: Columbia Law School (2012, JD)

Wendy Francois is first generation, first American, first hope. Her parents escaped the perils of Haiti on a rickety raft amid 100 other refugees seeking mythical streets paved with gold. She rips through deterrent currents and excels academically in spite of turbulence, because her education is the key to her freedom.

She is able to emphasize the importance of education to the Haitians in her community through the show that she hosts on the local Haitian community radio station and by writing articles in a prominent Haitian newspaper. She uses this medium of communication to shed light on the issues that directly relate to parent-teen relationships. This in turn enlightens parents. Wendy is also a reading mentor for third graders through Teen Trendsetters, a mentoring program which focuses on reading in order to help the students pass the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. She is driven by the obligation to hone her strengths through higher learning and contribute to the advancement of society as a whole.

In addition to her community service projects, Wendy is the president of French Honor Society, historian of the Haitian Culture Club, senior representative of Women of Tomorrow and captain of varsity soccer and volleyball. She is an active member in National Honor Society, Afro-Heritage Society, and Kiwanis Key Club.

Wendy was the salutatorian at Homestead Senior High School. She was a National Achievement Scholarship winner, a Kodak Young Leaders Award winner, a Presidential Freedom Scholarship winner, a Silver Knights nominee, recipient of the University of Miami Book Award and winner of the Prudential Spirit of Community Award. She was a member of the College Board's Inspiration Award Delegation to the College Board Forum 2002 at which she gave a speech and met the President of the College Board Governor Gaston Caperton and First Lady Laura Bush. She is headstrong and believes in the relentless pursuit of her goals. Higher learning presupposes change; change of ideology, change of concerns, and change of location. She is not afraid of change--she welcomes it.

Her education is her dreams; indeed it is the essence of her life. She will fulfill her dreams of becoming a Medical Doctor. Ever mindful of her parents' perilous voyage, she will save and improve lives. Many people say, “The sky's the limit.” To her there are no limits; there is the whole world to see and there is much beyond the sky.

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