Student Spotlight: Tatianna Toussaint C’21       

Tatianna Toussaint C’21                                   

What attracted you to Drew?

Initially, I was attracted to Drew because of its aesthetic. It was love at first sight. I have always loved nature since I was little. Drew was the first time I got to blend education and nature together.

What made you choose Psychology as a major and Neuroscience and English, Creative Writing as minors?

I have always been interested in the psyche of others, and I love how complex the brain is. At first, I majored in Neuroscience since it pleased my family, but I decided to switch and pursue my interest in psychology more. I loved that psychology gave me more room to explore many different fields. I added Creative Writing because I love writing and the Advance Fiction Writing workshop with Professor of English Dr. Courtney Zoffness made me realize I wanted to pursue my writing further.

Did you have an idea of a dream job when you started at Drew?

Yes, I wanted to be a neurologist but I soon realized that it wasn’t the right career for me. I now want to pursue a career in life coaching and mental health.

Have you done any internships?

In my junior year, I did a semi-remote internship with a developmental psychologist. I loved it! We had weekly meetings at the Ehinger Center or a coffee place in Madison. I mainly did administrative work, but the weekly meetings were the most exciting part of the internship because I had an opportunity to contribute my ideas to the project! I am currently pursuing a fellowship under a life coach to learn more about the field.

Do you have any mentors at Drew? 

Yes, Ms. Twannah Ellington and Ms. Joelle Falaise are my mentors in the EOF (Francis B. Sellers) program. They supported me in more ways than I could count. They were and still are there with me every step of the way. I am so grateful for them.

What issue in the world means the most to you?

Mental Health has always been an important issue for me. I have seen how neuro-degenerative diseases have negatively affected members of my family. Also, culturally, mental health is still a new topic in the African-American and Haitian communities. In five years, I hope to be a strong advocate for mental health in my community.

What are a few of your favorite memories of Drew? 

I have so many favorite memories. A lot of them had to do with chilling with friends at my dorm or theirs, crazy adventures around Drew campus, cooking my favorite vegan dishes in the Asbury kitchen, my EOF Harlem trip where I got to learn more about Harlem and its culture, and other New York City trips, including a fun visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and trying delicious multicultural cuisine.

How have your various identities affected your journey?

I know that I am an Afra-spiritual, Haitian, queer, non-traditional student, so ‘normal’ and ‘traditional’ have never been part of my vocabulary. In the beginning, I felt that my identities were a hindrance but I learned to accept and embrace them. Now they are helping me progress more than I ever thought!

What advice would you give students who are just starting out?

Be who you are from the jump. Take care of your mental health and make time for yourself. Don’t be afraid to go to therapy if you need it. Therapy at Drew helped me in so many ways during my college journey. It helped me identify many truths that I was afraid to address. Remember that you don’t have to be the best at everything but be the best for yourself. If you are happy that’s all that matters.

What are your career goals? Where do you hope to be in 5 years?

I have multiple career paths that I want to explore. I am definitely going to be busy when I graduate from Drew, but I know I will be doing something I love and I am passionate about.  I want to be a mental health life coach first and foremost. I also want to pursue a writing career and maybe work for a publishing company. I want to continue my blog and make an impact in teaching Healing through Spirituality. I am currently a Project Assistant at Neighbors in Need that provides housing assistance in Morris County. I want to provide counseling to the homeless after I graduate.

Are there any fun facts you want to share?

  1. In my spare time, I love to play my violin and write stories.
  2. I am a huge foodie and I love to cook multicultural dishes.
  3. I am a proud Anime and manga nerd!
  4. I am a huge book nerd too! I love the works of James Baldwin, Bell Hooks, and Maya Angelou.
  5. I am a new blogger, I talk about Mental Health and Spirituality on my blog Sesheni Rising.
  6. I speak French and Haitian Creole.
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