Gasly Mondelus logs nearly 40 hours a week at North and Wolfson Campus while juggling multiple hats.
The 26-year-old Haitian-born biology student has his routine on lock—attend classes, study in the computer courtyard, serve as president of the North Campus Haitian IBO Club and work weekend shifts as a part-time public safety officer.
Mondelus is one of ten students—the department has 70 officers at North Campus—who work as public safety officers. The job keeps him immersed in the social and academic culture at Miami Dade College.
“When you wear the public safety uniform, you feel important,” Mondelus said. “People need you. You get to help people, give them assistance and like they say, students first. Always help the students at the school.”
Mondelus works 24 hours per week in the public safety department. He works evening shifts on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, writing crime reports, jump-starting cars, escorting students and providing assistance on campus.
He started working at the College two years ago when he began studying at North Campus.
“Whenever he has to be here, he loves coming to work,” said Theodore Lazare, assistant public safety chief at North Campus and Mondelus’ direct supervisor. “Whenever you ask him to do a job, as a student and from a student perspective, he likes to be voluntary in doing other work for people. He loves doing his job.”
Mondelus is a full-time biology student, taking five classes this semester. He also serves as president of the Haitian IBO Club at North Campus, attending club meetings, organizing fundraising events and recruiting new members. The organization promotes Haitian culture on campus through education, community service and activities.
“It’s very stressful to be a leader and be working like that, but it’s also very interesting to be busy all the time,” Mondelus said. “I know tomorrow will be different.”
Mondelus aspires to one day work in the medical field as a physician’s assistant.
“One of the most important things about my major is that biology is there to make this world a better place,” Mondelus said. “I feel myself, working like that, helps Miami Dade College’s North Campus community.”
Mondelus was born on Sept. 26, 1993 in Cap-Haïtien, Haiti, a suburban area of the port city. Growing up with his parents and three siblings, he remembers visiting his grandparents and seeing the region’s clear, blue beaches and rivers.
“Everything was pretty good for me. You always feel the good spirit,” Mondelus said. “At the same time, when you’re living in a country where it’s underdeveloped, it’s really hard sometimes to do what you got to do and find the assistance that you need to go forward. It was challenging living there, sometimes you want to do something, but because of the opportunity or possibility, you have to stay behind.”
Mondelus attended medical school in Haiti shortly after graduating high school. He was one of nearly 100 students in the country accepted into the program.
However, Mondelus never got to finish. During his junior year, he emigrated to Miami by himself and stayed with his father, erasing the progress he had made in Haiti. His parents—Marie Maude Charles and Gaston Mondelus—urged him to restart the process again in the United States.
“They wanted me to come here to get an education,” Mondelus said. “The education here is better. Over there, even if you have your degree, it can be hard to find a job.”
Mondelus moved to the United States in January of 2017. After finishing his visa paperwork, he enrolled at North Campus in the fall of 2017. He underwent a year of classes in the English for Academic Purposes department before fully immersing himself toward an associate in arts degree in 2018.
That’s when he became involved with the Haitian IBO Club. He served as historian for a year before being elected president for the 2019-20 school year.
“It was something new for me,” Mondelus said. “It was my first involvement at school. They helped me to get more disciplined in life and focus on my objectives and goals.”
Mondelus is currently focused on finishing his associate’s degree by May of 2020. He plans on pursuing a bachelor’s in biology at the College.
His daily schedule fluctuates depending on the days. He usually wakes up at 6:30 a.m. to attend his 8 a.m. biology class, and often doesn’t leave until 8 p.m. due to evening classes or late-night study sessions.
Upon receiving a master’s degree, he hopes to work as a physician’s assistant at a hospital.
“He’s a good employee, always follows directions,” said Victor Moreno, public safety chief at North Campus. “He does a good job.”