Naima Dejoie is Living the
Huntington High School senior Naima Dejoie is living the American Dream. The teenager came to Huntington from Haiti in January 2010 in the middle of her sophomore year and has done so well academically that she is headed to Columbia University in the fall to study psychology.
"I had a great experience at the high school," Ms. Dejoie said. "The teachers were all very supportive and helpful." The senior's favorite classes have been Project Adventure and American Dream. It might seem like an odd pairing until you hear the teenager's reasoning.
"In PA, Mrs. [Kim] Damore pushed me to do things that I never would have even thought of doing and I feel like I'm a more responsible and trusting person because of her," Ms. Dejoie said. "American Dream was just fun. It was a lot of work, but in the end it was all worth it. I never liked history until I had Mr. [Jordan] Gould as a teacher. He would set up simulations so that we would feel what the Founding Fathers, slaves, Native Americans and many other people of the past felt."
Ms. Dejoie participated in a number of activities over the past 2 ½ years, including Grandfriends, A World of Difference, the Gay/Straight Alliance and the Chinese exchange program. "All these groups gave me an appreciation for the diversity of Huntington High School," she said. "It was great going to a school with so many different cultures and personalities."
One of the senior's favorite teachers has been Devin Auricchio. "She teaches ceramics and sculpture, as well as studio. Her door was always open for us students. She would always listen to all of what we had to say. She's also a great art teacher. She always did her best to help us realize the image we had in our minds, even if we couldn't completely explain to her what it was that we wanted. In her class anything was possible."
The Ivy League bound Ms. Dejoie was presented with the Suffolk County Executive's Award and an Award for Outstanding Achievement in Ceramics and Sculpture at Huntington's senior academic awards night this spring. She said "it was truly an honor" to receive such recognition
"One piece of advice I would give to incoming freshmen would be to keep an open mind and listen to others," Ms. Dejoie said. "I would also tell them to always try their best in everything they do and to take advantage of all the opportunities Huntington High School has to offer."