The things that are important to know about me is that I am an independent young adult who goes out of my way to make the people around me happy and feel special making sure everybody has positive vibes. My name is Rovell Cayenne and I was born in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I am 17 years old. I have lived in Kingstown, St.Vincent then I moved to Union Island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, then moved to the United States of America. I like to work with kids, do a little bit of hands on work, dance, and listen to music. I like helping my teachers out and making the staff feel good. I’m good at playing sports, using my hands and dancing. Well, dancing came naturally to me, but using my hands to make things, I had to watch YouTube videos. I like to be active, so sports came naturally also. In the future, I want to have my own house, a good job, and be able to provide for me and my family. My dreams are to be able to make it out on top and to not be where I first started.

I immigrated to New York on January 7, 2017. My life changed in many ways when I immigrated. The change I’m happiest about is I started excelling in school because I was with my mother now and she was checking up on me in school and checking up on my grades. The change I am not happy about is that I had to adapt to new surrounding gun and gang violence . On the other hand, I am sad that my father is not here with me. Now I speak English and a little of both French and Spanish, which I knew before but got better when I moved. Having to live with my mom, my family structure changed because I went from living with my dad and younger siblings to living with my mother, grandmother, uncle, great grandma, brother, and cousin. These changes were positive because I have been excelling in school since there’s someone checking up on my grades and me in general at school. I don’t feel anyway about the languages spoken everybody has their own culture so it doesn’t affect me.

There was a time in my life when I witnessed injustice. This was the time when my aunt had her residency taken away because she over-stayed her green card to protect her daughter who was at risk of being molested by people who had been doing it in silence to a lot of girls. In my opinion, this was unfair because she had to give up her residency because of that which was a really valid reason for over-staying your time outside the country.

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Ellie Weiss
June 6, 2018 10:51 pm

Dear Rovell,
Your story was so moving and so well written. Your inner beauty shines through. Your story touched me in so many ways because your love for your family is so evident. What also shines through is how well rounded, talented, loving and resilient you are. Your writing reflects what a special young woman you are. Keep writing. You are an inspiration

June 2, 2018 1:11 pm

So well written. I wonder, why was it decided that you would move to the United States of America and how was it the same or different than you imagined it would be? Thank you for sharing your voice! <3

June 1, 2018 4:20 pm

Dear Rovell,

Thank you for sharing your story. What stood out for me from your writing is how flexible you are. I was impressed by how you moved more than once in your life yet you seemed to have adapted to each new situation with such ease.

I made a personal connection to your story because my Dad’s side of the family is from St. Vincent and I actually got a chance to visit the beautiful island although it was a long time ago. I hope to make another trip to St. Vincent some time soon.

I am sorry to hear about your aunt. Based on what you have been studying about immigration, how would you have advised her if you had the chance?

On another note, based on your own immigration experience, what advice would you share with any Caribbean teenager immigrating to NYC?

I look forward to reading more of your posts on Youth Voices.


Ms. Lona

June 1, 2018 2:16 am

As I read your personal story I got a sense of personal connection because we both enjoy the same things. Throughout the plot I felt that was an important part of your peace because it gave the readers a limb to catch on to and feel attached throughout. Then you aggressively come at the reader with an emotional story of all the hardships you had to face to succeed. Your journey has been way more difficult than mine and currently when it is the end of the year and I’m struggling to find motivation this is a piece that helped me move forward. Thank You for your excellent work.

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