Feature story: Eli

Incredible stories are all around us: far and wide. This time, we didn’t have to look far. Eli is a valued entrepreneur here at MCO Orlando. He is inspiring to us in his ways of success and how it came about. Therefore, we decided to interview him to see what makes him the incredible man he is today.



Question 1: Hey Eli, could you give us some background about yourself?

A: “I grew up on the island, Saint Thomas Virgin Islands. Culture is different from here. Food is always home cooked. My favorite has to be stew chicken, rice and peas, cabbage, and plantains. I moved to Jacksonville when I was 17 for a full scholarship. Even though I have cousins over there, I was by myself. I came here because there is only so much to do in the islands and I heard America is the land of opportunity so I thought, why not? There’s this sort of island mentality– do what you have to do to get to America. I have to make sure I have everything in order when I’m here (in America) to make my time worth it. I am the first born of my family, so it’s a crazy and big step for me to come here all on my own. I am glad my parents saw my potential and let me come.”


Question 2: So you moved to the states alone, what caused you to do that?

A: “Opportunity. As simple as that.”


Question 3: I was told you are doing really well in college while working a full time job. What’s your secret?

A: “Time management and staying focused. There are lots of distractions out there but you have to make sacrifices. Hanging with my boys was great and all but I have priorities that come before that now. Sunday’s are homework days. I have to make those necessary sacrifices. I have 5 classes and I’m working full time.”


Question 4: Is there anything that inspires you to be the person you are today?

A: “My parents are my motivation since they keep me in check. They remind me how rough it was for them. I know my path is easier so I don’t take it for granted. My family lets me know if I mess up, which I appreciate.”


Question 5: So you won the cruise contest offered by MCO Orlando. at the holiday party, congratulations! How was it?

A: “I didn’t want it to end. We went to Free port, Bahamas and did a Jeep excursion which is a tour around the island. We got to see everything. We got to stop at the beach where Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed, it was so cool. It was also good to be back in island waters. We ate some good island foods. We ate a lot haha. It was a 3 day/2 night cruise. All of this because of the holiday contest and I got second place. This was my first cruise I’ve even been on thanks to MCO Orlando.!”


Question 6: Any words of advice or wisdom you can offer?

A:  “If you’re not focused, you have to fix it. Know what you want in life and never forget it.”