JustJobs Scholarship Scholarship

Ismeo Carl Jean-Louis – JustJobs Scholarship Finalist for December 2011’s scholarship program is proud to announce Ismeo Carl Jean-Louis as one of the three finalists for its December deadline application. Vote for his essay by clicking the thumbs up button at the bottom of the page, and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.

Ismeo Carl Jean-Louis’s Essay:

How did you choose your major? What obstacles have you had to overcome and what will it mean to you to graduate with this degree?

Since I’ve been young I’ve always been thinking about solutions to problems–small problems I can have with my friends or family, and substantial dilemmas like what things would need to change for there to be less trash on the streets of Haiti. Or why is there such a huge informal economy? Why are there so many Haitians who are unemployed? And through most of my time thinking about these issues, I’ve realized the first step and solution for change in Haiti is the change of its people so that when I see the faces of the people on the street I don’t simply see their loss of hope, but people with the faces of confidence, courage, and the belief that this is only the beginning of something greater.

This starts with the change of someone like me having the opportunity to go to college and get an education, and bring those benefits back to the country I was raised in. Choosing to study industrial
engineering isn’t simply because I love math, science, or learning how things work; I want to be able to help the production and the organization of major industries, providing them with the information
and expertise that will help them succeed where they failed before–helping industries like chocolate and sugar flourish and grow in their production processes. I want to be part of what is going on that’s wrong and turn it to be what is going on that’s right.

I believe a career as an industrial engineer will help me to face these challenges because it is my plan to return to Haiti to make a difference and change the rest of the world’s perception of Haiti. I want to help return it to its former name–the Pearl of the Antilles. More specifically, I want to position Haiti as one of the major exporters of chocolate and sugar within the international community which are currently not being used effectively. This may seem like a huge dream–and I know it’s going to be hard–but I think that with everything I learned throughout my training as an industrial engineer at Penn State, I will have the tools to take the country to a place it never thought it would be.

To achieve my goal in Haiti there are many steps that I need to take. In pursuit of my degree in industrial engineering, I first would like to learn the basic functions of systems. What makes a system? How it works and how it doesn’t? How to modify poorly run systems to make them run to their best. Then I would like to go more in depth into larger industries, and their structures. How they work, and what makes them improve or weaken. Other than learning about industrial engineering, I would like to experience it. Experience it by doing internships, co-ops, or even work studies in the field. I want to get experience in the field with in the United States and internationally to become a well-rounded, world class engineer. And finally, one of the best ways of mastering a field is being able to work with an expert of that field, having a mentor to walk me through points in industrial engineering that I won’t be able to learn in class.

Living in Haiti at times may have been scary and tough. I had to go through and experience many tough challenges that made me much stronger today. There’s always been a problem of safety and stability, and because of that there have been times when my school would give the students packets of work and quizzes to do on their own. Also the government would sometimes want schools to be closed, but because of the loss of too many days we were told to come to school in non-uniform to try and disguise ourselves as, not students. Not having electricity all the time was also a hassle sometimes in getting long work assignments done under candle light. It might have been annoying but it taught me things in life that will continue to help in my future career. It taught me that things like  procrastination wasn’t an option for me anymore. Because if it was, I wouldn’t get nearly close enough to where I am today. I’ve been through a lot and grew through a lot, and I acknowledge all that I went through because it didn’t only help me understand the culture of Haiti, but many other cultures around the world. This gave me the dream for me to help change it to be a better place.

I drew much of my inspiration from my father who also has that dream to help Haiti‘s economy, though he specializes more in job creation. In his organization they execute many projects in business incubation by helping small entrepreneurs and businesses grow to be able to employ more people, and also train the youth of Haiti and help place them in various industries. I want to have an international impact as well as a national impact by working with the informal economy and formalizing it by helping small entrepreneurs become more efficient as well, working as a consultant in both sectors.

Haiti is in great need to improve the way and life of its people. And I think one of the first steps for that to happen is to revamp the country’s economic landscape. I am tired of watching a country that I love and care about continue to hold the name of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. I am certain that getting the best education I can will be one step for me to start to be able to change that reputation and create substantial change in not only how the rest of the world see Haiti but how Haitians view their own country.

Ismeo Carl Jean Louis