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Helping others is a way of life

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Since her parents emigrated from Haiti, July Salnave’s Miami household brimmed with Haitian culture and values. “The move was bittersweet for my parents. They left Haiti for a better life, but felt we would miss out on our heritage. My mom made sure she instilled in us the same values her parents instilled in her,” July says.

July’s parents instilled a strong sense of helping others. “The key word is selflessness,” July continues. “If I came home from school and said, ‘I got an A,’ Mom would say, ‘Okay, did you help somebody else get an A?’” The philosophy of helping others, consistently delivered, took shape and became July’s guiding force.

After graduating from high school, July enrolled in several different colleges and universities, leaving each one before graduating. As time progressed, it became more and more apparent that her best friend from high school was living a much more successful life than she was experiencing. “What are you doing that I’m not doing?” July asked. “Well, I went to Brown Mackie College — Miami,” her friend replied.

During her first visit to the school, July wanted to enroll. She was met with a warm smile and all the information she needed about the programs and financial aid. July enrolled in a Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration program. Why? It seemed the perfect way to help others.

As her externship neared, Jabar Williams of Career Services arranged for her to interview at Segal Institute for Clinical Research in North Miami. Two weeks into her externship, the company hired her as business office administrator. “They put a bow on my office door! It was such an amazing surprise,” says July.

July received her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Care Administration from Brown Mackie College — Miami in 2014. That night, her father said, “This is where it begins; this is where you can actually help somebody become better.”

There was no downtime after graduation, as she had already begun her career. In a meeting one day, a client from Univita Health in Miami suggested that she lead a project for him. She jumped at the chance to work in health care, and took on a second job as project manager. “What I love the most about my work is helping people. They know they have someone outside that's looking out for their betterment,” July says. “I feel like I'm a part of something bigger than myself.”

Raised in the spirit of selflessness, July has found a rewarding career helping others. She recalls with pride two of her mother’s favorite life lessons delivered often within the Salnave household. The first, usually delivered in French, translates to You must have the IT factor. “It means it doesn't matter what everybody else is doing or saying. You know what's right in your heart and you do what's right even if it means standing alone,” July explains. The second lesson, delivered in Creole, translates to In any situation, good, bad, or ugly, swim to get out. “If you just keep swimming, you will reach the shore and feel sand under your feet,” says July. “Everybody knows if you stop swimming, you sink.”

July enjoyed her time at Brown Mackie College — Miami. She appreciated the accessibility of faculty when she needed help. “It was my home away from home,” she says. This is where she got to know the iPad. “I dreaded it at first because I love flipping the pages of books. I kept trying to find something wrong with it,” says July. “They showed me how to download a book, swipe the screen to turn the pages, and hit the button to take notes. We recorded videos on it, edited them, and emailed them. It was amazing.”

Now in a new professional phase of life, July feels confident in her work and her values. “I really believe that regardless of how big you get, if somebody else is not up there with you or you're not trying to bring somebody up there with you, you didn't accomplish anything,” she says.

Brown Mackie College — Miami is one of over 25 school locations of the Brown Mackie College system of schools. Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options are subject to change. 3700 Lakeside Drive, Miramar, FL 33027 ©2014 Brown Mackie College.

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Since Brown Mackie College is comprised of several institutions, see for program duration, tuition, fees, other costs, median debt, federal salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

Brown Mackie College is a system of over 25 schools located throughout North America. Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Administrative office: 625 Eden Park Drive, Suite 1100; Cincinnati, OH 45202. Our email address is

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