Gerlene St Jean
Haitian Creole Interpreter, Paralegal
Gerlene St Jean graduated from Howard University earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Administration of Justice with a minor in Political Science. Gerlene is now a Juris Doctor candidate at St. John’s University School of Law where she attends classes in the Evening Program while working full-time as a paralegal at BDS.
Gerlene is a first-generation American whose parents immigrated from Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Gerlene’s drive to advocate for those aspiring to obtain residency in America stems from her personal experiences watching her family fight to obtain their visas. Currently, over 90% of her family in Haiti has been awaiting their visas for over 12 years. Being the only person in her family who is fluent in both English and Haitian Creole, she has had to serve as a translator and middleman between USCIS and her family since the age of 10. With this responsibility, Gerlene became very determined to educate herself on the immigration processes. Through her own personal research, Gerlene has been able to assist her friends and family who do not speak English in filing forms, speaking to USCIS, and translating several documents. Her family in Haiti is now expected to obtain their visas this upcoming summer and some of her friends have already immigrated to the United States.
Gerlene aspires to become an immigration attorney advocating for socially and economically disadvantaged persons striving to obtain residency in America. Gerlene is excited to be a member of the BDS family and looks forward to using the knowledge and experience she gains here to help a wider range of people.