Randolph native a leader in world events, Wheelock
June 18, 2014
Randolph native Lyonel Traversiere, a resident assistant and a student leader at Wheelock College who has engaged himself in service work to New Orleans and Haiti, graduated from Wheelock College May 16.
He received a degree in Human Growth and Development with a concentration in Counseling Psychology as well as a minor in Visual Arts and a certificate in Community Based Human Services Human Based Services.
Traversiere credits his experiences at Wheelock to opening doors in his life because he learned how to be a resource for many people; he now feels he can help others. His goal is to create solutions for people to solve their own problems so they can develop problem-solving strategies.
Traversiere first arrived at Wheelock by receiving the Passion for Action Scholarship. He was eligible for the program because he demonstrated leadership in creating change in his community through service in Boston.
The Wheelock Passion for Action program provides a $20,000 annual scholarship award toward Wheelock College tuition, a community service learning trip, and leadership seminars for up to five scholars in the greater Boston area. Traversiere is the first male graduate of the Passion for Action program.
Traversiere plans to use his degree in Human Growth and Development to engage in positive social change and apply theories to his practices through hands-on experience by working with children or families. With his minor in Visual Art, he developed the ability to analyze works of visual art from a variety of cultures and historical periods. While at Wheelock, Traversiere was very active; he maintained campus jobs as a resident assistant, student life member, library assistant, and he also worked in the dining hall.
Traversiere participated in Wheelock's service learning trips to New Orleans and to Haiti. The New Orleans service learning trip was a continuation of a journey he began in high school in which he made a commitment after Hurricane Katrina to go back to New Orleans. The trip to Haiti really hit home for Traversiere because that is where his parents are from originally.
Although he was well versed in the language and culture of Haiti, he had never been to the island. Haiti's service learning trip gave Lyonel the opportunity to see the devastating effects of the 2010 earthquake and what it had done to Haiti, but he also saw where his parents were raised.
"I have never been more proud of my Haitian heritage," said Lyonel when asked about his trip to Haiti.
Associate Professor of Elementary Education Dr. William Thompson was Traversiere's biggest influence at Wheelock College.
"Lyonel's graduation from Wheelock with major studies focused on counseling psychology is a first big step towards getting his doctorate in counseling psychology," Dr. Thompson said. "He hopes to use his studies in mental health and the theme of resilience to support his community here in Boston and his ancestral home in Haiti. Many of us continue to expect great things from Lyonel and hope that his full potential will be realized."
Traversiere credits his family for their support in receiving his diploma.
"This degree that I received is to honor my family," he said. "I owe all of my success to the plethora of sacrifices that my mother and father willingly made in order for their children to succeed. My mother is my hero. She played the role of both mom and dad for a majority of my latter adolescence. Her enormous heart and her ability to give have shown me the purest form of humanity."
Upon graduation, Traversiere plans to be a case manager at William J. Ostiguy High School where he will help at-risk youths stay sober. The school is for troubled students who have committed to sobriety prior to enrollment. The students that attend this high school are referred by schools, family members, courts and other state agencies.