This is the third of a profile series written by Social Media Coordinator Michelle Vergara that showcases previous Project Inspire Scholarship winners. Lynn Geffrard is the executive director and founder of her nonprofit Dusting H.E.R. and will be transferring to Florida Atlantic University in fall 2015.
I moved from Haiti when I was 13 and when I went to school, I attended North Miami Beach High School where I joined the flagettes and became the captain in my senior year. The captain before me had helped Daphne with coordinating logistics for the scholarship, and once I became a senior, I applied for it.
What was the most difficult experience associated with your transition from high school to college?
The fact that I thought I knew who I was, but I didn’t. I thought I was a young lady going to attend college and go to medical school. Once I found God, I realized that was not who I was. My calling is to major in something else, but I didn’t know what. I was great at science, and I was almost done with a pre-med degree. Then I started volunteering at Miami Children’s Hospital, and something hit me that, this is not for you. I felt like I was not supposed to pursue medicine any more. The hardest part is doing great at something you pursue and then having to start over.
You’ve started your own nonprofit, Dusting H.E.R. Can you tell me more about it and the inspiration behind it?
Dusting H.E.R., stands for Honorable, Enlightened and Remarkable and is a nonprofit that empowers young women in education and etiquette. Dusting means to unveil and uncover the true identity underneath. Being raised as an only child and being born in Haiti, I did not have a connection with my mother who was in the US. Without having an older sister, it was a difficult to transition when I moved from Haiti. I was going through high school with no mentor. I felt like I did everything on my own and just based on what my mother told me. There are certain things I wish I knew back then, and I want to be that person for someone else. I’ve found that without mentorship, young women put up facades to cover up their true identity, just to look cool or fit in. I wanted to build an organization to help young women find their true selves.
What inspires you lately?
This year, I’ve gone to 4-5 women empowerment conferences and I’ve had the opportuity to see empowered women in action. My mother is so independent, and I had never seen anyone in action the way she is until I went to these conferences. Some of these conferences are faith-based and it was an amazing chance to see women put God first in their lives. When women are together, something just clicks, and there is a lot of power and energy that can be used together.
What advice would you give to high school juniors and seniors going to college?
Take high school seriously. Lots of kids start slacking off the last few years of high school, but it’s actually the time to be serious. Get involved in organizations that reflect your true identity, not because your friends are in them, but do it for yourself. Start volunteering to get a feel for whether you love the work in a field you’re interested in. And as you find your purpose and discover yourself, always ask God what He wants you to do.
Post written by: Michelle Vergara