Missionary trip stokes her passion for medicine

Marie Alexandre joined FSU students on a missionary trip to Haiti.
Photo courtesy of Marie Alexandre

As the oldest of five children, Marie Alexandre understands that leadership means being proactive. She knows to feed her younger sisters before bed and to bring clean jerseys to her brothers’ football games. When she returns to Broward for breaks, she works as a dietary aide at a nearby nursing home.

“Growing up, I knew that if things didn’t go right, it would fall on me. So, I learned to be organized and take initiative,” said Alexandre. “This is just something that was instilled in me.”

Persistence, keen organization skills, and a strong sense of purpose have worked to her benefit. This past summer, Alexandre travelled to Haiti and helped provide medical care for the local community.  She received this opportunity through the Caribbean American Medical Educational Organization (CAMEO). Although the mission trip was exclusively for Florida State students, Alexandre got the application from a friend who attends FSU and brought it to the interview.

After meeting the panel members and convincing them to take a chance on her, she became the first student from FAMU to join the mission team. Now, the call to missionary work is sitting on her shoulders, and she hopes to continue serving her home country.

“I’m grateful because even though she’s one person, she paved the way for the whole school. She was determined for them to see her and to represent our university, and now it’s open to us,” said Kori Elliott, a junior chemistry major.

Alexandre’s house manager, Keiera Cofield, sees her scholastic achievements and interactions with others as top-tier qualities.

“She is an authentic person in her relationships with people, and she’s very dedicated. She doesn’t play around and has her head on straight,” Cofield said.

The FAMU student seeks opportunities around campus to serve the Tallahassee community. During her sophomore year, she got involved with Farm Share at Student Health Services. Passing out the food with the other volunteers is her way of connecting with the university and those surrounding her.

“I became family with the people. I felt safe, I felt at home, and I was excited to go everyday after class,” she said.

Although she is passionate about school and medicine, Alexandre does not depend on her academics to define her entire personality. The 21-year-old enjoys mixing her Haitian and American cultures to create meals for her YouTube channel, attending FSU football games with her uncle, and travelling. She hopes that one day, she can blend all her passions into one purpose.

“Somehow, I want to mix medicine with food with sports with travelling. I don’t know how that’s going to work,” she said.