By Ciku Theuri
Broadcast by WGBH News
At just 27 years old, Jean Bradley Derenoncourt made history Tuesday when he was elected Brockton's first Haitian American city councilor.
But his journey to the chamber wasn’t an easy one.
Derenoncourt arrived in the U.S. with his father in 2010 and resettled in Brockton, fleeing from an earthquake-ravaged Haiti. He frequented his local library to learn English, and he eventually attended Suffolk University. He became a U.S. citizen last February.
While he was in school, Derenoncourt got his first taste of public service, serving as an intern for former Brockton Mayor Linda Balzott and former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.
Derenoncourt attributes his success, both personal and professional, to the people of Brockton, who he says welcomed him with open arms. Now, he adds, he's giving back to the community that embraced him.