Dawin Preval Plans to Study Nursing at UMass Boston
August 4, 2023
Dawin Preval’s decision to pursue a career in nursing really shouldn’t come as a surprise considering his loves helping people. The Huntington High School Class of 2023 member will be attending the University of Massachusetts Boston.
“I was born in Haiti and I lived there for 11 years,” Mr. Preval said. “I am happy to have come to this country in hopes of living our my dreams. Growing up in Haiti, I always did my best to help people. I helped older people with their bags at stores, cleaning up around their homes and take care of younger children. I was loved and appreciated by everyone and that always put a smile on my face and made me feel good about myself. My dad would always stress to me the importance of helping others, so I made the choice to always give back.”
When Mr. Preval’s father made the decision that his son should leave Haiti for the United States for what was hoped to be a better life, it was a difficult adjustment for the youngster.
“I had great friends and enjoyed my life in Haiti,” Mr. Preval said. I really didn’t want to go, but my dad informed me of the great opportunities I would have in America. After being in this country for about a year, I found the language very difficult to learn. I was missing my homeland and my friends. I wanted to go back. I didn’t know many people and had very few friends because I didn’t know the language. I was very sad.”
Mr. Preval doubled his efforts to learn the English language and he started to play organized sports. “Playing sports opened me to a brand new world,” he said. “I met friends who I am still friendly with to this day. I started understanding the language more. I started working with members of my church doing volunteer work. This is exactly what I was doing back in Haiti. This brought a smile to my face. As I got older, I participated in community service projects, food drives and cleanups with Huntington High School students.”
The teenager worked so hard in his classes that he qualified for the designation of Distinguished Senior, which requires a student to have a 90 or better grade average during every semester of high school.
“I have achieved a lot in seven years,” Mr. Preval said. “I’ve won a lot of awards just for doing things I really enjoy doing. I have been on the honor roll from middle school through high school.”
Mr. Preval captured six separate awards in the Le Grand Concours French student competition and he earned the state Seal of Biliteracy as a completely bilingual graduate.
A Huntington Youth Court volunteer, Mr. Preval also participated in the high school’s social ambassadors program. He has won awards in both varsity football and track and field. He was a member of the mock trial team that won a pair of Suffolk titles and reached the state finals.
“Coming to this country was the best decision my family made,” Mr. Preval said. My dad was right. There are so many opportunities here. I’m so glad I was able to get over the pain and the hurt I felt when I first arrived in this country seven years ago. I was missing my friends and most of all, I was missing helping others in Haiti. I realize now that I can still do what I enjoy most and that is helping people. I would like to ‘pay it forward’ and continue to work helping others in different ways.”
While at UMass Boston, Mr. Preval hopes to be a thrower on the college’s track and field team while studying for a nursing degree.