After watching his mother’s daily struggles as an immigrant from Haiti to the United States, Porez Luxama '03C felt a need to provide greater services to his community. Along with his brother Fr. Juan Luxama, he co-founded the Life of Hope Center, a community-based nonprofit organization that supports immigrants in the Central Brooklyn community, and now serves as its Executive Director.
Luxama transferred to St. John’s from Queensborough Community College and quickly found a mentor in Physics Professor and Chair Mostafa Sadoqi, Ph.D.; the two shared the experience of coming to the U.S. from a francophone country. Dr. Sadoqi encouraged Luxama to major in Mathematical Physics, and Luxama felt at home in the Physics department. He became a member of Sigma Pi Sigma, the physics honor society, and was elected to St. John’s student government. Luxama joined the Haitian Society on campus, where he found a wider network of friends. He also began his involvement in community organization, working with Mayor Bill de Blasio, Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, Councilmember Mathieu Eugene, and Councilmember Jumaane D. Williams, among other leaders.
After graduating in 2003, Luxama pursued a Master of Science in Education at Brooklyn College and taught high school mathematics. He remained committed to serving the immigrant community, however, and left teaching to start Life of Hope in partnership with the New York City Board of Education, with which he also does consulting work.
“My brother and I saw a great need in our community, and in line with St. John’s Vincentian Mission of service, we worked to meet that need,” said Luxama.
In addition to his work with Life of Hope, Luxama is a member of the New York City Association for Adult Continuing Education. He has also served on a Haitian Entrepreneurship Advisory Board and is a founding member of the Diaspora-American Political Organization. He is also a founding member of the Timoun LaKay Foundation, which provides scholarships and other forms of humanitarian assistance combat poverty in Haiti and its diaspora.
“Porez is well-known as an activist in the francophone and Haitian communities in Brooklyn,” said Dr. Sadoqi. “He showed leadership as a student here at St. John’s, and he is now making an impact out in the world.”