Joaklin Raphael currently serves as a Sr. Development Officer at Florida International University (FIU), helping the university achieve its $750 million capital campaign goal. He has also developed multiple scholarships and endowments to help many students reach their full potential—because for today’s students financial need is often a barrier to going to college. Mr. Raphael is committed to giving back to students, and he values the payoff of investing his time in an educational institution that prepares students for the next generations’ challenges.
Mr. Raphael is actively involved in both the university and local communities, serving in several organizations. His current leadership positions include advisor for the FIU undergraduate chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., youth mentor at the Sigma Beta Youth Club, undergraduate advisor for M.A.L.E.S. (Men Achieving Leadership Excellence & Success), mentor for 5000 Role Models of Excellence Mentoring Program, and participant in Leadership Miami. Other volunteer service includes work with Camillus House, American Cancer Society, Amigos for Kids, and March of Dimes. As a collegiate advisor to the FIU Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Mr. Raphael plays a major leadership role in the chapter’s success by providing stability, continuity, and strategic guidance to its members. His leadership philosophy is “lead by example,” while providing enough autonomy and rich experiences so that those involved are able to visualize their paths. He realizes and acknowledges that he provides guidance, but not with a ruling hand.
The ultimate goal in higher education is to prepare all students to become prominent, productive citizens. As an advisor, Mr. Raphael possess a genuine and lasting interest in young people, their challenges, their objectives, and their limitations. It is important to be patient with students as they maneuver through life’s challenges, which oftentimes are met with errors of judgment—a difficult but critical part of a dynamic learning experience.
One of the things that Mr. Raphael enjoys providing to the students is professional development. Over the years, he has coordinated various activities, including mock interviews, workshops, etiquette classes, career development planning, and job search management. Today, he is a mentor and tutor to young people who may be considered at-risk youth. Through volunteer service, he is able to motivate and guide young African American students, especially males, who are lost and disillusioned. Mr. Raphael helps them see their self-worth, potential, and bright futures. He has had countless opportunities to share hard truths about life, about what he has seen firsthand and what he has been through, including homelessness. Mr. Raphael shares with them how critical it is to work hard so that they can achieve their goals. Knowing that education and self-awareness are key, he wants our youth to know that giving up is never an option!