Brought up in Haiti, Dr. Nadia Duvilaire’s journey from Haiti was one that began with her mother’s original journey to New York City, leaving Nadia and her brother to be brought up by their grandmother. During the 10 years until they were reunited in New York City, Nadia’s mother suffered homelessness, living at times in the subways of NYC with her young daughter, who was born after she came to America.

With a fourth grade education, Nadia’s mother worked in factories, nursing homes to be able to bring her family to America … and she did. Nadia struggled briefly with the language and culture, graduating with honors from high school, going on to college and medical school.

Today, she is the medical director of a very successful neighborhood health center, Wood River Health in Rhode Island. 

A Bridge To The Futures is our ongoing series about the immigrants who are helping to build our region’s future. We will be running stories of first generation immigrants who are making a difference in America, and in our community.

Our list is long, from those in professions, business owners, students, educators, and community organizers. From every corner of our region, with diverse backgrounds and skills … all sharing a dream that indeed they are part of that “Bridge to America’s future.”

We invite you, if you are a first generation immigrant, to let us tell your story, or if you know of someone you think we should be spotlighting … email me at