We had the good fortune of connecting with Aline J. Milfort and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aline J. , can you tell us about an impactful book you’ve read and why you liked it or what impact it had on you?
Recently, I read the book titled Beautiful Child by Torey Hayden, based on a true story that follows the story of a special education teacher for one year, who works with five children with various disabilities. However, the story focuses on Venus, a seven-year-old girl, later identified with selective mutism, a complex childhood anxiety disorder characterized by a child’s inability to speak and communicate effectively in select social settings, such as in school. Torey Hayden highlights the challenges and victories of Venus; however, I was inspired by Torey’s determination to identify the reasoning behind the child’s silence and her perseverance to find solutions that would aid with her student’s progress. Furthermore, I loved how Torey Hayden used a multifaceted approach to assist Venus. Ms. Hayden looked into the child’s family history, her community, and more in order to see if there were any documented clues that could help her find an answer. As an aspiring school psychologist who looks forward to advocating for children and families, especially those from low socioeconomic communities, this book motivated me to always be a voice for children and families who lost theirs. It was a great reminder that my job may not be easy every day, however, it will be worth it as I encounter breakthroughs along the way. Similarly, Beautiful Child is a terrific reminder that every child is unique and beautiful in their own way, despite any disabilities they may have, their background, socioeconomic status, and academic history. Lastly, reading this book simply confirmed the reason I desired to be a school psychologist. I desire to be the person who never gives up on a child trapped in silence, even if others did. I long to be the person that brings hope and encouragement to families and students who are facing obstacles in and out of the classroom.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Aline J. Milfort is not only my name but my brand. I am an author, speaker, and a current doctoral student who initiates conversations related to faith and mental health. I speak within my community at faith-based conferences and workshops, specifically women and teens about knowing your worth and purpose. In addition, I use my platform to discuss the importance of mental health and practicing self-care, especially in black and brown communities. My goal is to increase and normalize conversation about mental health, one person at a time, one social media post at a time, and one speaking engagement at a time. I got to where I am today, after writing my first book, Tears turned into Purpose, which highlights my personal challenges as a teen and ways that I overcame. It was shocking to see how many women connected with me after my book release, thereafter, speaking engagements began to occur. I am most proud of the fact my books are in different countries like South Africa, Finland, and Mexico. Furthermore, I am really proud of my first television appearance on a local television network called BeconTV. I was featured on the New Haitian Generation show, which shines a spotlight on successful Haitian-Americans in the community earlier this year. Honestly, I cried and so did my family. It was such a rewarding experience to see myself on television, and God willing I know it will not be the last. However, this encouraged me to continue to strive and help my community. Was the journey easy? Definitely not. There were times I struggled with imposter syndrome, doubt, and not feeling confident enough. However, through prayer and an amazing supportive system, I always bounced back and remembered who I was. Lessons I have learned along the way were always praying first about everything. From speaking engagements to connections because your name and reputation is very important. Every opportunity offered should not be taken. Furthermore, pace yourself. You are your own competition, and comparing yourself to others will bring discouragement and cause you to overlook your accomplishments. Additionally, be your own cheerleader! If you are not confident about your brand, business, or product..who will be?! Moreover, setbacks are not equivalent to failure. I have experienced great losses on this journey, however, I never quit. Take the risk and if you fail, simply try again with a more effective plan. Ask for help, seek a mentor, and continue to strive for growth. Finally, applaud your present moments and accomplishments. You have worked hard to get to where you are. Celebrate yourself.. you have a lot to be proud of! And acknowledging your current success will motivate you to keep pushing for success. Okay, I know I said “finally” above but seriously practice self-care. You do not want to burnout before you even get started. Trust me I know. I desire the world to know that Aline J. Milfort is about a christian woman who believes she can change the world, one conversation at a time. My books, Tears turned into Purpose and While Waiting for the Promise are faith-based books that aim to help women and teens understand their value and through my mistakes, better approaches to take on certain life situations. Furthermore, in the area of mental health, I am a huge advocate for it, especially in the christian and black/brown community. I aim to be the voice for those who are voiceless. In addition, I strive to normalize the conversation around it by providing resources and talking about it. After all, silence is overrated and we do not have to fight our life challenges alone.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Coming to South Florida–visiting the beaches is a must! Personally, I love the beach. The feeling of the sand and the sound of the water is so relaxing. Therefore, I would definitely head to one of the beaches, primarily Fort Lauderdale Beach. From there, choose one of the food spots right along the beach. I love the versatility of Fort Lauderdale Beach, it is easy to enjoy the day or night scenery. In addition, this girl here loves a nice brunch spot and so does my best friends haha. Therefore, we would head to a nice brunch location such as Shooters Waterfront, a nice waterfront location with amazing food whether as a brunch option or even lunch/dinner. My friends love seafood! Therefore, I would include a few seafood spots on the itinerary and eat whatever else is on the menu (Fun fact- I am not a seafood fan lol) . In addition, spend some time down at Wynwood and enjoy the art and restaurants there. Furthermore, do some fun activities like indoor rock climbing, indoor skydiving, and bowling. In addition, enjoy the fresh air and visit parks or locations that have food trucks. Similarly, I would add visiting a museum or zoo to the itinerary. Finally, I would see which artist or comedian is in town and purchase tickets to a concert or show.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are many people who are responsible for helping me get to where I am today. However, I definitely have to shoutout my family (Amos, Elaine, & Mika Milfort & Saintana Milhomme). In addition, my two best friends, Ludy Saintil and Marjorie Phanord. These individuals have not only seen my high moments and accomplishments but they’ve been there to pick me up at my lowest. For that, I am forever grateful.
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