Before reaching my educational & professional success, I was on a path that was pretty blight. I was fathering two children by the age of 21, amassed a criminal record by the age of 25, and worst of all, I had no direction. Part of my early challenges were attributed to my lack of guidance and direction in regard to education. Both of my parents migrated from Haiti with less than a high school education. My options for mentors were not plenty nor grandeur. Education was never a priority; in fact, anything beyond high school was considered remarkable. I was good at sports and relied on football to carry me through college, barely squeezing by with a 2.6 GPA. Shortly after graduation, I scoffed at the team’s athletic director who tried to convince me that I was smart enough to go to law school. Years later I find myself graduating law school at the top of my class, receiving an LL.M. degree in taxation at Georgetown and was honored in delivering the commencement speech to my graduating class. I now lobby tax issues on behalf of non-profits, coalition’s, and Fortune 500 companies at the nation’s capital. As the 1st of my family to be born in the U.S. and graduate college, and the only professional, I can confidently say that my hardship will become someone else’s blueprint.
Daniel Joseph, JD, LLM