A photo of John Steve Papouto Felix, standing outside ILI's language school in Massachusetts. He's wearing a white adidas T-shirt with navy blue strips over the shoulders, and a beanie hat. He's looking straight into the camera lens and smiling.

VoicesofILI spotlights some of the students, teachers, and community members that make ILI what it is.

John Steve Papouto Felix is a student from Port-Au-Prince, Haiti but his hope is to end up among the clouds. He is a student in ILI’s Intensive English Program, and is dedicated to making his dream of becoming a pilot a reality.

Papouto moved to the states in February of this year and immediately began overcoming obstacles.

When his initial study plans fell through, he adapted to the situation and joined the Intensive English Program at ILI to stay on track with his goals, and continue improving his English.

The teachers at ILI helped Papouto to identify his level in English, which pleasantly surprised him when he received a high score on his initial assessments. Papouto explained that classes at ILI are much different than the English classes he takes at school back home. ILI’s curriculum taught him new methods to approaching writing such as breaking down his thesis statement into different, smaller parts.

It’s quite clear that Papouto is a driven and intelligent student, however, he is much more than just brains. Back home he has a large family, athletic hobbies, and some quality time spent in the US before he came to ILI.

When he isn’t surrounded by his parents, two younger sisters, and two older sisters, Papouto enjoys watching and/or playing soccer with friends. Or snowboarding in New York with friends. Or jumping into freezing cold lakes at 5:30 AM with friends? It seems like this guy knows how to have a good time!

Papouto first came to the US in 2014, when he attended a camp in the countryside of New York. He was unpleasantly surprised with the rainy 60-something weather he was greeted with after leaving home where the summer low doesn’t go below 70 degrees.

Papouto will be starting college this fall at Vermont Tech where he will study engineering to work on his math and physics skills so he can transfer to a school to study aviation.

Papouto shared that although he likes to joke around quite a bit – he always wants people to remember him for his kindness.

Thanks for chatting with us Papouto – we can’t wait to watch you soar (literally)!