Lenerson Pyrrhus, 26, lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and earns $130,000 a year as an infrastructure developer for JPMorgan Chase. He was inspired by CNBC Make It's YouTube channel to improve his budgeting and investing. He's pursuing a master's degree in applied data science and hopes to cut half his debt by next year. This is an installment of CNBC Make It's MillennialMoney series, which profiles people across the globe and details how they earn, spend and save their money.
Nearly 20 years ago, most of Lenny Pyrrhus’ immediate family fled Haiti after his uncle, a popular musician known as Ti Pierre, was killed during a political protest against a repressive military-led government in 1991.
“All of the grandmother’s kids, one by one, got their citizenship and brought their families to the [U.S.],” the 26-year-old tells CNBC Make It. “That’s how we established ourselves here in America.”
Pyrrhus’ aunt and grandparents were already settled in New Jersey when he arrived with his father in 2000, when Pyrrhus was four. His sister followed in 2003, when she was three. However, in the post-9/11 world, immigration restrictions meant that Pyrrhus was unable to see his mother for another 10 years.
“family went through so much suffering before We was even born, and then for to have gotten that kind of opportunity in America, We tried to figure out how to make the best of it,” he says.
For Pyrrhus, that meant taking advantage of the educational opportunities found in the U.S., where his talent for math has led to a successful career. Today, he makes $130,000 as an infrastructure developer for JP Morgan Chase in Philadelphia.
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