While ACLP Operations Manager Naphekie Taloute currently lives on Long Island, New York with her mother and two sisters, she called Haiti home until 2011, when she was 13 years old.
“Spending half of my life in Haiti and half of my life here in the US, I’ve been able to see a bit of both worlds and how people’s backgrounds can shape the opportunities they have,” Naphekie said. “I’m grateful for everything I’ve had access to since moving to the US, but I will always remember my roots and know where I come from.”
At Penn, Naphekie is a senior in the College double majoring in sociology and Africana studies and minoring in Hispanic studies.
One of the main reasons Naphekie was drawn to Africana studies in particular is because of the opportunity to learn about history, politics, and culture in a way that she feels connected to: “Most of the history I learned in high school and even what the media portrays nowadays is very Euro-centric. I wanted to learn more about the other side of the story and how it relates to my background,” Naphekie said.
Naphekie’s main extracurricular at Penn is ACLP, and she has been involved with the program since her sophomore year, when she was looking for a work-study job. At the time, Aminata Sy (ACLP Founder) was running a one-person show and needed some extra hands to help with administrative tasks.
“Simi [Ayinde, current ACLP Chief of Staff,] and I both ended up applying for that position and we’ve been involved ever since,” Naphekie said.
It’s safe to say that Naphekie has been there through the many stages of ACLP, working her way up to her position as operations manager, but perhaps the biggest change