Syracuse University has felt like home to Schneider Joachim since he was a child. After moving from Haiti to the city of Syracuse at age 5, he enjoyed taking walks on campus on warm days and fondly remembers doing homework on campus in high school. 

Now a student at Syracuse’s School of Information Studies, Joachim is working to earn a bachelor’s degree in applied data analytics and a minor in policy studies and innovation, design and startups. He plans to graduate in 2026. 

“Living very close to S.U., I had the opportunity to interact with the university uniquely,” he said. “Having seen and experienced how this university has grown and evolved over time, without even having been an official student, it connected me here in a special way. It has become such a welcoming, diverse environment, and I am proud to say this is my university.”

As an immigrant and the first in his family to earn an associate’s degree – and eventually his bachelor’s – Joachim says he has had to work exceptionally hard to envision himself in a place of success. 

“I quite literally didn’t have that in my personal life, so I didn’t even know how that looked,” he said. “Working hard towards good grades is temporary fuel. Once you take a step back and reflect, and you don’t see a purpose in your efforts, your world breaks. You start questioning, doubting, and fall into a unique kind of despair. This was my experience throughout my time in my two-year college.”

After earning his associate’s degree, Joachim decided to take a year off from school to figure out his goals in life before starting at Syracuse. He soon found supportive communities, such as Hack-Upstate and ERIE21 at LeMoyne College, that helped him explore his strengths and weaknesses, interests and disinterests, and develop himself professionally and as a person. 

“This allowed me to pivot back on the track of being a student with clear goals and aspirations, helping me better work towards where I envision myself being,” he said. “When it comes to my life, I have decided to give myself a chance and strive to be better than I was yesterday.”

Once he enrolled at the iSchool, Joachim said he was met with nothing but endless support from teachers, staff and programs, such as CSTEP (Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program), SSS (Student Support Services), LSAMP (Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation) and OTHC (Our Time Has Come Scholarship Program), which have helped him develop professionally and excel academically. 

Currently, he is working on the Syracuse Data Challenge, which is provided by the city. Using open datasets from Open Data Syracuse, he is able to delve into information about Syracuse through data visualization with PowerBi. The data sets include everything from crime and poverty to housing and education. 

“I get the opportunity to gain insight that better helps me understand the city I call home,” Joachim said.

Joachim says he has always been interested in technical things, understanding the world around him and figuring out how to drive change using his knowledge. After graduation, he hopes to use his data analysis and policy skills to make changes that improve people’s lives. 

“What better way to impact change than to have the ability to influence the rules that structure our everyday lives in society?” he said. “Ultimately, it is my goal and dream to invest in my community, just as my community has invested in me.”