“As I return back to Les Cayes in December, I hope to raise enough money to provide school supplies and toys to gift for the children,” said De-Anna Gattereau, public relations director for the St. Michaels Training and Health Center. “Les Cayes is a town in Haiti, where my dad is originally from. I went last December to visit family and to just enjoy the culture, scenery and food that I fell in love with.
“Although I enjoy my vacation, I couldn’t help to notice how so many children were living in poverty. And it was very unfortunate. It made me think what I can do to help and provide for my country. So I figured to start a GoFundMe campaign. A campaign where I hope to aspire people to donate funds for the children, so that I can buy the supplies and give it to them when I return.”
Gattereau started her campaign with hope of bringing in $1,500 by the end of September. As she gives the children the donated gifts and supplies, the children will return to school in January with a fresh new start. “Any donations, whether it’s big or small, will be a great contribution to this cause and much appreciated,” she said.
Along with the campaign, the St. Michaels Training and Health Center is in the process of building a facility for affordable medical testing, as well as working with youths to empower and motivate them to succeed.
Gattereau is currently a senior at the University of Bridgeport. She is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in human services and plans to attend medical school. Before transferring to UB, Gattereau attended Nassau Community College and earned her associate degree in liberal arts. She became a first lieutenant in the Uniondale Fire Department Junior Division. The Uniondale Fire Department Junior Division is a program to bring awareness of fire departments in communities to encourage young people to join the firefighter departments once they turn 18.
“Once I aged out, I did have the choice of joining the department,” said Gattereau. “They told me that if I join, I would have to make at least 15 percent of the calls. But I didn’t think I had the time to make those commitments, so I had to deny the offer. But I truly did enjoy being a part of the program. I encourage others to try and get involved in programs like this. The skills you learn from there can help you in the long run.”
Gattereau recently started her own her hair company, Unruly. “My hair company is only two months old,” she said. “I’ve always had a passion for hair. I’ve always got compliments on my hair, and people would ask who’s my hair vendor. Then one day, the entrepreneur in me was like ‘You should just start your hair company,’ and ever since then, I’ve been building content and presence within the community.”
She also started to do trading in foreign exchange, Forex Market. “For about three months, I have been doing foreign exchange,” she said. “At first, it was a bit complicated because of the different rates in different countries and etc. But then once I got the hang of it, I really enjoy doing it.”
Gattereau is also the assistant coordinator for DMGEvents Specialist, a family event planning company. “DMGEvents Specialist is really a mother-daughter and son business,” she said. “This event planning company has always been a dream for my mom. And because my brother and I adore our mother, we support her in everything she needs. At almost at every event, at least one of us are there. My mom coordinates and decorates, my brother runs our rentals portions and I help balance everything out. We work well together, and our clients are always satisfied with our service.”
Gattereau continued, “It’s important to have multiple sources of income instead of relying one job. It’s important to be do community service apart in our neighborhoods. It’s important to be diverse and take advantage of any opportunity that is given. As young ambitious Black women, we have to make our own paths and create our own success stories.”
For more information, go to https://www.gofundme.com/u6vms-giving-to-the-children-of-haiti or email De-Anna at firstname.lastname@example.org.