By Alex Popa
Mikaël Alphonse is a Haitian model and an NCAA Division I college athlete with a passion for self-improvement. He was born and lived most of his life in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Currently, he’s pursuing higher education abroad at the University of Maryland. Although he’s already achieved some noteworthy accomplishments in his life, such as becoming a model and a high-level athlete, Mikaël tells us he’s still fighting for recognition and further success. He feels his career is just starting and hopes to always accomplish more.
Mikaël says he’s found better education and work opportunities in the US. However, he’ll never give up on his homeland. He has big plans for the future, and his ambitions include changing the world’s image of Haiti. Mikaël wants to break the stereotypes by example: “Haitians are often dehumanized in the media, but we’re good people. I want to show the world that we have the potential to accomplish great things, just like anyone else. I’m one of the many Haitians who can make a contribution if given the chance.”
What Being Haitian Means to Him
Like many of his compatriots, Mikaël believes being Haitian has made him a fighter but has also helped him become more compassionate about others’ struggles. Observing the plight of his people and knowing his country’s history provided him with a more skeptical and realistic outlook on life. At times, he admits he’s not very optimistic. As he told us: “I believe that being Haitian made me recognize the world is a field of competition for power and exploitation.”
He also added: “Haiti’s history is full of abuse and exploitation by other countries. Unfortunately, the hunger for power, abuse, and exploitation of others will always exist.” But he doesn’t let this realization drag him down. The world isn’t always fair, but, according to Mikaël, you owe it to yourself and others to become your best self despite unfavorable circumstances.
Personal Goals and Accomplishments
Mikaël takes pride in being proactive. He always strives to improve his knowledge, skills, and outcomes. He finds motivation in growing as a person and in cultivating all areas of his life. He already has an impressive list of accomplishments to discuss. He’s entered college and is currently studying economics at the University of Maryland. He’s become an NCAA Division I track and field athlete while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.
He also earns a living through his side-gig in modeling. In the future, he wishes to grow in the modeling world. He also plans to start his education in mechanics. Ultimately, he hopes to enter his dream profession of automotive mechanics and preparation. This will help him accomplish one of his long-term goals, which is to aid the growth of motorsport in Haiti.
Advice for Fellow Haitians
Mikaël believes young Haitians are the key to Haiti’s prosperity. He wants the new generation to stop giving up on Haiti. Instead, Haitians should adopt a different mindset. The youth should believe in Haiti’s potential. That’s the first step to enacting change. Finally, Haitians should take an active role in changing society: “It’s a lifelong mission to contribute to the prosperity of Haiti. Become the best at whatever you do and share your knowledge and experience with fellow Haitians. We should lift ourselves and others to build a better future.”