I am a first generation Haitian-American, born and raised in Miami, Florida. In 1997, I graduated from the University of Florida where I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in History with a minor in Criminal Justice. Little did I know, two short years later I would become a first-time mother and first-year law student within the span of five months.
During the first year of my son’s life, I thought he was a quiet, well-behaved baby. I had very little to be concerned about, or so I thought. Life changed when my son neared two. At a doctor’s appointment, his pediatrician and I observed that instead of using words he pointed at objects or gestured. Before long, my son was in weekly treatment to address his speech, language and developmental needs. And I found myself in weekly parent-teacher conferences where I learned to appreciate the educational, physical, and emotional needs of parents and children with developmental disorders.
Meanwhile, law school was as rigorous as I had expected. I worked hard to learn how to become a good lawyer, however the demands of law school coupled with a hyperactive, socially challenged son intensified my experience beyond my wildest dreams. Nonetheless, motherhood supplemented my legal education and supplied an intense passion for advocating for the rights of children. I learned new terms like “Autism” and “Aspergers” and the nuances of ADD and ADHD. I learned that care for your child’s health does not end with the pediatrician, but that the pediatrician and parents are the gatekeepers to speech pathologists, occupational therapists, behavior coaches, nutritionists, and so many more.
Despite my “lively” schedule, I graduated in 2002! Upon completing my Juris Doctor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, I started my legal career as a prosecutor for the Twelfth Judicial Circuit in Sarasota. Three years later I started my own family law practice where I represented criminal defendants and litigants. During that period, I received a calling to teach and work with youth. As a result, I shut the doors of my practice and traveled with my son to Andrews University Theological Seminary where I earned my Masters of Arts in Youth Ministry. After completing my Masters, I moved to the metro-Atlanta area where I served as a youth minister, taught several criminal justice courses at the college level, and immersed myself in youth outreach. I also became licensed to practice law in Georgia.
As you can see, my education, professional experience, and motherhood converged in a journey filled with myriad life lessons. The most invaluable lesson was learning the art of praying to God for strength, patience, faith, hope, and unfailing love. The journey I’ve taken with my son fighting for justice and wholeness for his life and mine has been a blessing. It has cultivated in me the heart, mind, and spirit to serve you, my future clients, with sincerity and compassion and to effectively advocate for what is in the best interests of your child for time and eternity.