Haitian Heritage: Profiles in Leadership

Haitian Heritage: Profiles in Leadership Former Language Facilitator Becomes Department Manager
Posted on 02/18/2020
Patrick Chrysostome

Patrick Chrysostome began working for the School District of Palm Beach County in 2001 as a Community Language Facilitator (CLF) in order to use his trilingual skills as an asset for the Haitian Creole population. In that role, he assisted students and their parents who didn’t speak English. He now serves as the Manager of the Office of Diversity and Business Practices. 

Born in Haiti, Chrysostome came to the United States in 1998 and put down roots in South Florida. He registered and attended English classes at the Adult Education Center in West Palm Beach and at Boca Raton Community High School.

With an affinity for business, he decided to pursue an education in that field, earning a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Florida Atlantic University, and an MBA from Nova Southeastern University with a concentration in finance.

In his current role, he ensures that small minority business enterprises are encouraged to participate in bid solicitations and procurement initiatives. He holds several licenses and certificates in construction management, in addition to receiving training from the Florida Association of Minority Business Enterprise Officials. He is also certified by the Morgan State University Center for Continuing and Professional Studies.

“My passion is to help others. My experience as a CLF connected me with minority students, parents, teachers, and the community at large, and prepared me to perform well my actual position with the District Office of Diversity in Business Practices by helping Small / Minority and Women Own Businesses in the community. My satisfaction is whenever I can motivate a small business owner to take advantage of a contract from the District,” he said.

“Patrick is an invaluable asset to the Office of Diversity in Business Practices team.  We would not be as successful without the knowledge, dedication, and passion that he brings to work every single day,” said Dicky Sykes, Director Office of Diversity in Business Practices.

Chrysostome believes that education is the key to success. However, several challenges and obstacles often limit the opportunity for all to fulfill their potential. Coming from a different cultural background was a big challenge for him added to the realities of the language barrier and responsibility toward his family. But he has learned that giving up was never an option.

“My cultural background played an important role in my life. My parents always taught me not to give up on my dreams. I fought hard to be where I am now. It was not that easy to have family responsibilities where you have to work hard and go to school at the same time; it was a big sacrifice. I want to motivate Small and Minority vendors not to give up; success does not come without sacrifice,” he said.

Chrysostome advocates continuing education and said that people should never stop learning. Married, and a father of three children, Chrysostome wants to instill this belief in his kids, to facilitate their future success. Deeply religious, Chrysostome’s wants to study theology.

“I have to thank God for everything he has done in my life. When the challenges are getting tougher for me, I rely on him for the guidance that I need to overcome them. Without God, I will not be able to accomplish anything. To God be the Glory,” he said.


The School District of Palm Beach County