Meet Lucy Dorlus of Bonjou from Lulu
Child of proud Haitian immigrants, mother, devoted School Counselor and owner of Bonjou from Lulu, a Creole focused greeting card business. Bonjou from Lulu creates a way for people to express their feelings through greetings cards written in their native language.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Lucy Edlene Dorlus. By day I am a devoted School Counselor for the Broward County Schools and by night I own and operate Bonjou from Lulu a Creole focused greeting card business. However, my most important job is being a mother to my 9 year old son, Judah Amiri. He is my reason WHY. I am the proud daughter of Haitian immigrants, who raised me in a religious home where the principles of care, compassion for others and pride in my culture were instilled at an early age.
What do you do and how did you get to where you are? What do you enjoy the most about your work? What’s a typical day like for you?
I am currently an elementary school counselor with Broward County Public Schools. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in History (a minor in Sociology and a certificate in Ethnic Studies), a Master of Arts degree in Teaching and Learning (Technology Integration) and a Specialist degree in School Counseling from FAU.
In 2006, I became a history teacher at New River Middle School. However, after seeing a great need to assist students in improving their academic and social well-being, I transitioned to the role of school counselor in 2015.
As an advocate for the rights of abused women and children, I have worked tirelessly to bring awareness to domestic violence. In 2012, I joined forces with Maggie Blaise, a survivor of domestic abuse, to found Free Yourself Women Foundation (FYWF), an organization dedicated to helping abused women and their children escape domestic violence through intervention, education, and financial assistance. I served as the organization’s Vice President for five years.
What I enjoy most about my job as a school counselor is that I am able to offer students a place where they feel safe and will be heard. I also love that I get help students solve their problems and see them come up with their own solutions.
Being a school counselor means that every day is different and brings new challenges. A typical day as a school counselor is so unpredictable and may be completely different than what one planned. No two days are the same and there is never a dull moment. I love the unpredictability of my day though. I wear many hats at work, not only am I the school counselor, I am also the testing coordinator, RtI coordinator, Child Abuse designee, Homeless designee, Foster Care designee, Bully designee, the translator and also help out where ever I am needed.
What are some of the things you want to accomplish in your career and in your life over the next 5 years?
In the next five years I would like to work as a coach/mentor to new school counselors and work as an adjunct professor at a local college or university and teach undergrad courses to students pursuing a degree in education and/or school counseling. Additionally, I hope to expand my greeting card business by partnering with American Greeting cards and Hallmark by creating greeting cards in Creole for their line of Haitian greeting cards. I also want to travel to Ghana and South Africa with my family.
What does being Haitian mean to you? How connected are you with Haitian Culture?
Being Haitian to me represents strength, courage, freedom, pride, faith, unity and resiliency. I love aspects of Haitian culture our Haitian people, Haitian food, Haitian music and dance, Haitian art…I LOVE all things Haitian.
So much so, shortly after graduating from Florida Atlantic University, I began interning at the Haitian Heritage Museum in Miami, Florida. HHM is committed to highlighting and preserving Haiti’s rich culture and heritage globally. During my internship at the museum, I was a part of the launching of Ayiti Expose, an educational program that presents a look into Haitian culture to K-12 students in Dade County Public Schools. It was during this time that I decided to pursue a career in education.
In 2015, I traveled to Haiti with "The Ultimate Haiti Experience," an organization committed to sharing the Haitian culture and lifestyle with a global audience. I fell in love with Haiti and its people during my trip. I experienced Haitian culture and history firsthand. Being in Haiti made me feel so proud to be Haitian.
How can you put your gifts and talents of more use in the Haitian community?
In 2017, I founded Bonjou from Lulu, a greeting card company that creates a way for people to express their feelings through greeting cards in Creole. The idea for BFL came as result of the absence of greeting cards written in my native language. I felt that an entire culture was unable to express themselves during holidays, birthdays, and special life events like the birth of a baby, communion, anniversaries, and graduations.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about helping others find success and working with children. I find so much joy in helping others.
How can we support you in that?
Through encouraging all adults to devote time be a mentor to a child. Mentoring increases academic success and confidence while reducing behavioral problems in school.
What’s your superpower?
Like my late father, I consider my superpower my service to others. Muhammad Ali once said, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” I believe in giving back. The causes that are near and dear to me include children, education, domestic violence awareness and poverty.
What’s your favorite quote?
"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."-Frederick Douglass
Finish this quote, being a Haitian-American Millennial means...
Being a Haitian-American Millennial means continuing the proud and inspirational legacy of my ancestry.
For more information about Bonjou from Lulu:
Avanse Ansanm chooses to highlight the positive contributions of Haitian-American Millennials to South Florida and Haiti. Let's Avanse Ansanm.