My name is Fabienne Eliacin and I am a proud member of my community. In 2017, I was very honored and humbled to be the recipient of the Myra Kraft MVP Award. This is how I got there: I joined the Dudley Village area about 9 years ago. I was new to the neighborhood and was looking to be part of a community. Being new to the area was a little challenging and not knowing what to expect, besides of what people told me. I was a new mom. One day, I was introduced by my daughter’s daycare director to Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI). With my involvement with DSNI, I started attending more meetings to learn more about programs and resources, and became involved in the Boston Public School, housing, civic engagement and so on. In 2015, I joined DSNI’s education and the sustainability economic development committees, and I learned more about organizing and the policies about education.
DSNI’s support for their community and others is compelling. As part of the Boston Mothers Care (BMC), we received the support of DSNI to raise money for Haiti after the 2010 earthquake at their Multicultural Festival. Acting as our fiscal agent, DSNI helped BMC make a successful trip to help the families in Colminy. Now, we are preparing for our third trip to build a school in the same community.
Around the Dudley Village, I am know as Ms. Resources. People call and email me about the issues that they are comfronting and I share the resources I know that will help. With the support of others, I feel the entire community is more aligned, empowered and healthy to conquer the issues with ease.
I also participate in a cohort of “Fair Chance for Family Success” a program that allows DSNI families particpate in FII empowering DSNI families to set goals around development, debt reduction, and other financial issues. Thru this program, I saved to purchase a car, fixed my credit, processed my first time homebuyer certificate, went back to school for a Non-profit Management certificate with Tuffts and Institute Non-Profit Leadership, joined a gym, ran in 5Ks, andsaved for my daughter’s school, ballet and summer camps. My group is phenomenal, we keep everyone engaged and learning new skills or opportunities to gain new tools to lift ourselves and others thru this program.
My nine-year old daughter has ADHD and learning disability, it was a roller coaster when I learned about her diagnoses. As a Haitian parent, it’s not something we know in my culture. We do not recognized those issues and it is a battle that I need to face every single day. I learned to advocate for her, educate myself and be a voice for the voiceless. Now, I am in the Boston Foundation Fellowship that helps parents of children with disabilities.Thanks to God and my village — my daughter is growing so beautifully and we have support and resources to help us guide and shape the process throughout the years. I also joined other groups to support education effort Cplan — as a parent leader for the parochial, Board member for BMC, as well of being on the advisory board for B-Safe and Union Capital Member.
Although the support in the community is vibrant, I also understand residents must take responsibility of their well being of their neighborhood. As a co-chair of the Sustainable Development Committee, one of focuses has been to mobilize the community to support the Community Preservation Act, which passed by 74% in a Boston Ballot referendum in Boston. There referendum will find more affordable housing, parks, open spaces, and historic preservation in Boston. Supporting the CPA was a clear priority for me and the community.
I will continue doing what I love to do by supporting, guiding, educate, and empower others to support and flourish our community. For me, the sky is the limit, with God’s help, nothing will stop me to help a family or an individual.