Losing his parents at a very young age, Dr. Sean Doorn, a Georgetown, Guyana-born educator, views this time of the year as his least favorite, simply because his mother died a few months before the Christmas season, and later, his father died, memories, despite sad, helped him to toughen-up, and strive for excellence during his life’s journey.
A school psychologist with the New York City Department of Education for the past eleven years, Dr. Doorn remembers spending most of his younger life constantly ill, to the point, where he was hospitalized, and at home in bed, missing out on his formal years of education.
His mother back then, was a staff member at the Georgetown Public Hospital, and not afforded time-off to spend much time with her ill son, after doctors gave up on him and sent him home on many occasions. During those times however, young Sean, fantasized about what his life would be like.
As he laid in bed, he told his younger self that when he was out of his situation, he would accept his past, embrace the present, anticipate his future, and work on these fantasies to make them realities, and do whatever it takes to ensure that anyone he came into contact with, “I would engage them, and ask them in return, to do the same for the next person.”
After migrating to the United States, and with the help of relatives and friends, he worked through the hardships his parents experienced, like, not having the financial means to send him to college, yet holding on to a traditional Guyanese Christmas.
Now a graduate of Touro College, New York, with Master’s Degrees in Psychology and Mental Health Counseling, this young man is determined and committed to sharing his skills to help others like him, who experienced difficulties while growing up.
Dr. Doorn who has been a behavior intervention specialist for the past 11 years for various New York City nonprofit agencies, thanked Caribbean nationals for paving the way for future generations, like his parents did for him.
“My parents could not afford to send me to college, but if the love they had for me could have converted to money, I would have paid for Harvard University in one week,” he stated.
An inspiration to youths, the adjunct professor at Touro College Graduate School of Education and Psychology, and part-time lecturer at the Adelphia University Graduate School of Social Work, called on compatriots to appreciate their living parents, and reach out to help those in need.
Dr. Doorn, who captivated the audience during his keynote speech at the recent Caribbean American Social Workers Association’s 15th Annual Christmas event, has served on a Mental Health Awareness Month panel that focused on the Black Community.
He presented his research, titled “What are the Lived Experiences of Parents Regarding Special Education Service Decisions For Their Children, and Their Interactions with School Officials” at the Society for Social Work Research (SSWR) Conference in Washington, D.C., in January 2018. He is also a life-member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity Incorporated, and chapter member of the Pacesetters chapter of Lion’s International.
His whole life slogan “Optimistic Soul - Accepted past, embracing the present and anticipating future, as I turn boyhood fantasies into manhood realities,” are principles he uses to influence young men and women to strive for excellence, despite their adversity.