A Nursing Student Dreams of Her Own Clinic in Haiti

Naomie Ambroise, a 19-year-old nursing student, knows exactly where she’ll travel once she has her degree: Japan and Thailand are at the top of her list.

Ms. Ambroise doesn’t speak Japanese or Thai, but the idea of learning by immersion is a challenge she’s up for. She wants to helm her own adventures now that she’s out of the foster system.

When she was a child, Ms. Ambroise left her mother in Haiti to live with her father in New York City. Living with her father eventually became difficult, and she was placed in foster care at age 10. She lived with foster families in the Bronx and Queens who, she said, could be unreliable and unwelcoming.

Part of her defense was to close herself off from foster parents, even though it went against her open nature. Ms. Ambroise said she was “courteous but also very much distant.” This was necessary, she said, to adjust from one home to the next. “Sometimes what I found to be easier when adapting is to not to get too connected to people,” she said.

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