“Back then, if you were a minority, you probably felt like you didn’t have a place to go. He created a place of solace for them,” she said. “Willie Sanders is an example of a minority overcoming roadblocks to achieve excellence. I wish he was still alive so I could meet him.”
Haye attributes her own commitment to excellence to an appreciation for education culled from her parents, who moved to the U.S. from Jamaica.
“My parents didn’t have the same opportunities I had. My dad would always say, ‘If only I had an education.’ So, I never took my education for granted,” she said. “That appreciation continues today. Even though I get stressed out and burdened by all the information I need to learn, I still feel lucky.”
Before Haye was a full-time student, she was a young Hollywood actress, a career twist she said informs her studies today. At age 12, she landed a role in the romantic comedy “License to Wed,” starring Robin Williams, John Krasinski and Mandy Moore. She also appeared on the family sitcom “Malcolm in the Middle” and lent her voice to commercials for the website Fandango.
“I learned to be calm and patient, something I can use in my clinical experiences,” she said. “No matter what your patient said, or how shocked you feel by what you see, you have to keep a cool, collected and reassuring presence.”
Haye’s journey serves as an example of the power of perseverance and of pursuing your passions.
“I would encourage everyone to have ‘big, hairy, audacious goals,’” she said. “They seem impossible, but step by step, by laying out a plan, you can achieve them.”