Sak pasé and Hola! My name is Lashanda Coq. Currently, I am a fourth year student at Rutgers University studying Nutritional Science and Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies. Music is a big part of my life and when I’m not studying or attending classes, I am directing the Liberated Gospel Choir at my college. Besides academia, I am also a part of an all-female gospel acapella trio called, “Harmony.” Whether it’s through music or academia, my passion resides in finding a medium that can help or improve the well-being of peoples’ lives. For this reason, I want to further my studies on a graduate level and become a health care professional.
I was born and raised in New Jersey but my family is from Haiti and came to America in the mid-1980s. Because of this I grew up in a bicultural household where I spoke Haitian Creole at home, but English at school. But this was all in preparation to participate in a one-month service-learning program abroad to the Dominican Republic. There, I will be working with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that advocate in social justice issues affecting the Dominican and Haitian population. More specifically, I’ll have the ability to with NGOs like RECONOCI.DO or BONO that will be advocating a recently passed law which denaturalized Dominican citizenship from Haitians born in the Dominican Republic since 1929. This concern is dear to my heart since I am of Haitian descent, and by understanding their human struggle makes them my family. I know that this study abroad experience will impact me on a personal level and will help me in making sound decision in my career path.

Journal entries by Lashanda