Who Am I?

From the dust of the ground, God created man. My name is not Adam but I am a reflection of God, destined for greatness and created with purpose. The instant my mother gave birth to me in the oppressed country of Haiti, I fought to escape mediocrity and poverty. On February 17, 1995 at 5 PM, I was welcomed to this world full of opportunities by a goddess known as Emaude Mardy. At the very moment I came into the world, malicious spirits of the land attempted to take me out. That was one of the many battles I had to endure and overcome to build the character, tenacity, ambition and desire to motivate and inspire others. My ancestors had to revolt and fight against our oppressor by any means necessary to become the first black republic. I, too, had to revolt and fight against the oppressor of ignorance to free my mind from the mediocrity of settling for less. I am Edouard Gilles, a fighter; one who will overcome and go through any walls by all means necessary.

I migrated to the United States at the age of nine in 2003, for the initial 9 years of my life I never saw my skin color as one of a minority. I never grew up thinking I was less significant than another because of the pigmentation of my skin but I knew it had to do with my mind and work ethic. Hence, I fought to be better from the moment I stepped into America; the land of opportunity and where everyone is entitled to pursue the American dream. Growing up in the melting pot of Miami, I endured ample of prejudice and was frowned upon due to my culture by those who looked just like me. Kids who were of Haitian descent but not born in the land would categorize me as a “Zoe” and ridicule my culture. For a while, I was an outsider within my own community and having to learn a new language and culture made it difficult for me to appreciate who I was. I attempted to be more “American”, I started picking up the dialect, lifestyle and dress like those who categorized as Americans. A fire in me was sparked to become the best I can possibly be and it was then I learned that work ethic is the building block of greatness.

Using that work ethic, I placed the upmost effort in my academia to not only leave “ESOL” classes which were for immigrant students who barely spoke English but graduate high school as Suma Cum Laude as top 20 in my class. I also placed the same work ethic towards sports, which was my outlet in life. Being one of small stature, standing at 5’7, I had no chance of becoming a NBA player but that never stopped me from practicing every day and making my high school team. Basketball introduced me to sports and within my high school career I managed to play 7 sports. 3 years later, I still hold the 800 Meter run record for my high school and have received Scholar Athlete of the year awards and various “MVP” awards. As a runner and athlete, I have gained a lot of heart and desire to never give up no matter how hard it gets. That resilience and persistence carried to my entrepreneurship ventures as a young “hustler” trying to escape poverty.

From selling chips in middle school, to selling “Haitian patties” in high school as a fundraiser for my first official company in high school or selling books freshman year in college to survive, entrepreneurship as shaped my character. However, it wasn’t until recently I realized that I had a greater calling than to make money. I realized that my calling in life is to uplift and inspire countless people and that is why I became a personal trainer and started my current mobile personal training company known as Flex Fitness and Performance. Since then, I have impacted the FAU community and change lives every day. My mission in life is to leave the world better than I found it and if I can touch one person, I know I’ve succeeded.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.