Leonie Timothee: A catalyst for change
I moved to Miami from Haiti at the age of 6. From an early age, my parents encouraged me to get involved in my community. While in school, I volunteered in local hospitals, marched for immigrant rights, and participated in community service projects.
I am now a Human Resources professional. I have worked at the InterContinental hotel for over 21 years, mostly training and developing our employees. I became involved with Catalyst Miami nearly 12 years ago, when I was informed of this new initiative to deliver direct services to workers in their workplace, and I signed up! Our employees receive free tax preparation assistance, healthcare navigation, benefits enrollment, credit coaching, and more, during their lunch breaks. These services really help our employees achieving their goals. That's one major reason why I decided to support Catalyst Miami as a donor and to enroll in their leadership programs.
Recently, when a friend told me about Catalyst Miami’s leadership development trainings, I decided to participate. I was not expecting to have such a transformative experience. I believe our purpose in this world is to help others, and participating in this training has helped me do that. Catalyst Miami provided me with the foundation I needed to be able to help my community in a meaningful, informed way. I am a better person, a better citizen. I am involved with community service projects and I can aptly advocate for policies that matter to me and my community. I am also more aware of the many ways in which individuals can affect change in the local level.
Step Up Miami brought together individuals from all walks of like to look at poverty and think through solutions collectively. We grew into a team seeking to improve ourselves and our community through our voices.
I have donated to Catalyst Miami every year during Give Miami Day. I donate because I value the resources and opportunities Catalyst Miami offers our community. I also value Catalyst Miami's philosophy of providing individuals a road to self-empowerment and engagement. They get that individuals have stressors in their lives that they could use help solving, but then they also guide them through developing their leadership skills and voice in order to change the systems that create these stressors. Catalyst Miami serves as a foundation; you can rely on the staff to help you with anything you need. They are always there to provide you with the push and assistance you need, and that's not readily accessible anywhere else.