Spotlight on Francesca Raoelison

Meet Francesca Raoelison: Student at Brown University, aspiring Social Entrepreneur from Madagascar featured in MTV and a Clinton Global Initiative Fellow.

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Why did you major in at college?

I first majored in Psychology back in the Northern Virginia Community College. I'm currently concentrating in Organizational Change, at Brown University.
My choice of major was based on my need to understand myself as a developing human being. As I furthered my studies in Psychology and gained leadership experience, I also gained a deeper confidence in my own strengths, an understanding of my motivations and a realization of my purpose in life. I want to be a servant leader and be a part of something greater than me. Empowering people by making them feel confident about their skills makes me stronger. I feel driven to help people reach their potential in terms of well-being and personal development.

If you could go back in time and give your younger self advice, what would it be?

There are so many things to say!

I would tell her to take time to get to know herself, to embrace her qualities and flaws, because that's what makes her unique. I'll tell her not to go to people in hopes to fill out whatever void she has inside, but instead to give herself whatever she is seeking. 

I'll warn her to choose the people in her life carefully: To have the courage to cut out negative people and instead surround herself with people who are always going to elevate her and motivate her and who will push her to be her best self. 

I'll tell her to be patient and not to settle for instant gratification. To create her own life by not being afraid to try new things, to be a life long learner and to get out of her comfort zone because growth is the best reward ever. 

Finally, I'll tell her to stop worrying about things she can't control and instead, to take the time to appreciate things, people, experiences, to never forget where she comes from and whatever happens in life, that she is going to be okay.

What was your most life-changing experience?

Again, there are so many but I would say coming to the US, getting a full ride to go to Brown University as well as having the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation support my journey until I graduate. I feel blessed to have all those opportunities that I can't help but give back in any way I can.

Confidence Boost Power Song: Know What I'm Not - Nico & Vinz
Words you live by: “If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” – Dalai Lama XIV
Spirit animal: Dolphin. They are known to be extraordinarily smart. Dolphins are altruistic animals. They are known to stay and help injured individuals, even helping them to the surface to breath, plus, they look adorable. :)

Alex Gordon