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#MyMessage — Stephann Dubois

Meet Stephann Dubois, a computer science senior from Haiti.

On Jan. 12, 2010, Stephann Dubois thought the world was ending. He was volunteering to help younger students in his native Haiti when chaos erupted — it turned out to be a magnitude 7.0 earthquake. Dubois jumped out of the two-story school and walked 30 miles back home.

With his home country in such turmoil after the catastrophe, Dubois decided to further his education in the United States, and he chose Syracuse University.

Check out #MyMessage for more stories about SU international students.

Dubois was eager to come to SU but once he arrived, in fall 2010, he said he became depressed and experienced culture shock. His first night in Syracuse, when he was so tired from traveling, he slept on a bare mattress and used his jacket for a pillow.

But life got better, Dubois said. He joined the student organizations Story Projects and NASBE, made friends, and soon was acclimated to life at SU. Dubois said the integration into campus life made Syracuse feel like a second home. He works 18 hours a week at the ITS Service Center and is inching toward his graduation in December 2014. He will leave Syracuse with a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science.

But Dubois says he will never forget the earthquake in Haiti and the lessons he learned from the disaster. “Life is short,” he said, “you need to enjoy every millisecond of it.”


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