2022-23 Southwest Youth of the Year
Entering the Club as a shy but excited 10-year-old, Steeve found supportive role models and new friends, as well as a knack for athletics and the goal-setting skills to start getting all A’s on his school report card. But where he really excelled were opportunities to apply his capacity for empathy – serving as a role model to younger members as part of the Junior Staff program and giving back to his community through Torch Club.
Steeve’s empathy for the experiences and living conditions of others stems from his own childhood – he and his younger brother spent three years in an orphanage in Haiti, surviving the deadly 2010 earthquake, before being adopted and moving to Arizona. Starting a new life in the United States with his adopted family was a different challenge: culture shock. As Steeve began to develop a much-needed sense of belonging at the Club, he was often quiet about his past experiences, not wanting to be seen as a victim. “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to see my story as a tool to connect with others,” he says.
Now, he’s committed to raising awareness of other people’s struggles, particularly those experiencing homelessness. Steeve says, “I am a determined young man ready to take on the world.”