As Caribbean Americans, immigration is central to our identity and experience. It is also an integral part of the history of the Caribbean diaspora not only in the United States but around the world. The Caribbean is brimming with inspiring immigrants who have gone through incredible hardships to arrive where they are today — bravely struggling against difficult odds and unflinchingly pursuing their dreams.
Over the past 8 years, the various guests on the podcast have shared their immigration stories. Immigration stories are deeply personal, each migration journey is unique in its own way – but also has a shared origin: courage.
Here are 5 memorable Caribbean American immigration stories of past guests that exemplify courage, strength of character, and resilience – inspiring us all to believe in ourselves when facing any challenge that stands between us and success.
Jackie Glenn shares her journey from Jamaica to the Midwest as a nanny, then working her way through corporate America. In this episode she discusses the challenges she encountered and offers sage advice on navigating work and personal branding.
Jackie is the author of Lift As I Climb – An Immigrant Girl’s Journey Through Corporate America, her instructional biography of how she employed her ten self-created gems throughout her journey to Vice President & Chief Diversity officer at Dell EMC. Jackie is now the founder and CEO of Glenn Diversity Inclusion & HR Solutions.
Ingrid Murray is a Jamaican native who isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. She shares her very unique immigration story of coming to the US to find her daughter who had been kidnapped. Though life has presented her with many challenges, she continues to not only persevere in the midst of adversity, but thrive.
Ingrid is a mother, wife and award-winning businesswoman. She is also the President/CEO of Prospect Cleaning Service, Inc. and under her leadership it has grown into a seven-figure company. In 2022, the company was named as one of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in America.
Dominic Christopher who is originally from Jamaica, talks about the struggles of coming to the US on a student visa and later losing his status for some time. He shares how he was able to overcome these challenges and achieve success.
Because of the lack of opportunities given to him as a student, Dominic decided to create opportunities for other students. He is the co-founder of Deh Abroad – an organization that provides resources and disseminates vital information to the Caribbean-American community to propel growth and productivity.
Dr. Donna Barrett
Jamaican born, Dr Donna Barrett shares her journey of immigrating to America with only a dream, overcoming obstacles and achieving success. She is the best-selling author, a philanthropist and the founder of a real estate company. Dr. Barrett credits her belief in God first and herself second that helped her to overcome the obstacles she faced.
Nelli Patrick is a Grenadian professional makeup artist and beauty expert has overcome considerable odds to build a successful career. In her episode she shares her immigration story where she legally came to America for college, but soon after became an undocumented immigrant. Nelli talks about her shame and how she learned to release the shame and adjusted her attitude in the face of challenges.
Nelli is a beauty expert and professional makeup artist who takes pride in creating beauty that speaks to the essence of black women and black girls. Nelli now has the privilege of teaching other well-respected artists and her work has been featured in Essence, MTV, BET, among many others. Her most notable achievement was an Apple partnership in 2019 for Black History Month.
In conclusion, the immigration stories shared by our past guests on the podcast demonstrate the boundless courage and unwavering determination of Caribbean Americans. Their journeys to the United States, marked by adversity and struggle, highlight the incredible strength of character and resilience that define the immigrant experience. By sharing these stories, we gain a better appreciation and understanding of the challenges faced by immigrants in pursuit of their dreams. As Caribbean Americans, we owe a debt of gratitude to those who came before us, paving the way for future generations to achieve even greater success. Let us continue to honor their legacy by embracing our heritage and cultivating a spirit of determination, perseverance, and hope.