Dieunica Setoute

Dieunica Setoute

ΦBK, Florida International University Occupation: AmeriCorps VISTA Community Awareness Coordinator with Take Stock in Children in Miami, FL Field(s) of Study: Public Administration and Minor in Political Science


What does Phi Beta Kappa mean to you?

As a first generation college graduate from Haitian immigrant parents, being inducted into Phi Beta Kappa has been one of the most encouraging moments of my life. This organization has been a symbol of perseverance for my family and me.

What is you role is at AmeriCorps? 

I am currently serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA member, devoting a year of service to  Take Stock in Children, a non-profit organization that helps deserving students from low income households pursue a college education to help end the unfortunate cycle of poverty. I currently serve as a Community Awareness Coordinator and help with capacity building for the organization.

What course in college had the greatest impact on you and why? 

I took a Global Public Health Development course and it introduced me to non-profit organizations and their important role in combating major global issues. I hope to spend my career working with non-profit organizations.

What was the best advice you were ever given and who gave it to you? 

My 9th grade language arts teacher instilled the thought “to whom much is given, much is required.”

How have you applied the advice your teacher gave you? 

Although I have encountered many people who have believed in me and encouraged me to do my best prior to meeting my 9th grade language arts teacher, it was the first time someone emphasized that I should also focus on returning the investments people have made in me over the years. As I am growing to understand my purpose in life, I am fueled by the thought of always giving back to others. Her advice was a seed that feeds my passion for helping others.

Who has made the greatest impact on your life and work?

My mother has really impacted me. I have witnessed her move to a new country, learn a new language, and raise a child as a single parent with resilience and strength.

How is higher education in the U.S. different from your country of origin? 

I am originally from Haiti. In a country with a weak political and economic infrastructure, the opportunities I have been given in the U.S through higher education would have been nearly impossible to obtain in my country.

What was the most challenging part of your education, and how did you overcome it? 

I would say the most challenging part of my education would be socioeconomic factors my family faced because of relocating from a foreign country. Overcoming such difficulties is generational and it’s an ongoing process that is made easier with the pursuit of education.

What do you want to learn next? 

I am currently working on my Masters in Public Administration with a Certificate in Public Finance.  My plans include traveling and learning about new cultures and new approaches to solving the world’s problems.

Why do you think Phi Beta Kappa and an arts & sciences education are important in today’s society? 

These subjects are the core and fiber of our society. Phi Beta Kappa promotes the tenacity in individuals to thrive and further our communities.