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Student Spotlight: Kenu Louissaint Studies Management, Writes Books

By Brenda Santos

Kenu Louissaint

TAMPA (April 9, 2021) -- Kenu Louissaint was a performer at the Superbowl LV halftime show in Tampa this February. But he is not a dancer.

Louissaint found himself dancing on the field of Raymond James Stadium at halftime after a friend had connected him with the chance to sign up. After learning he and a couple of friends had made the cut, the real work began. For two weeks, eight-hour practice days were the norm, along with daily COVID-19 tests at the stadium.

“And I am not a dancer” Louissaint says, describing how he left the experience knowing he could do anything he set his mind to. This is just the latest example of Louissaint jumping on an opportunity to try something new and outside of his comfort zone.

While majoring in business management, with a minor in psychology, Louissaint founded his own brand, PainfulSuccess. He hopes to focus on motivational speaking, something Louissaint also highlights on his brand’s YouTube channel.

 “I talk a lot about the journey towards success,” he says, “as well as how the pain makes the success that much better.”

He has also written and published two books, which are available on Amazon. In his first book, “PAINFULSUCCESS: How to Transform Your Pain into Your Personal Success”, Louissaint pulls from his own experiences and discusses many self-help topics.

“This book is based off me not being able to play on the basketball team,” he says. Trying out for the USF basketball team, making it but not being able to join due to class scheduling was a major obstacle he had to overcome. “It was something I really wanted to do.”

In his second book, “Beauty in the Things That Make Us Weep”, self-help topics are discussed with the theme of changing perspectives to overcome life’s obstacles.

Before coming to USF, Louissaint was a part of the College Reach-Out Program (CROP) and took a business course, which sparked his interest. “We had to do a project, where we had to basically start a business, decide what the business plan was going to be, what product we wanted to sell, who we were going to sell to, etc. Basically, everything an entrepreneur would think about.”

He was also a part of the basketball and cross-country team at Tampa Bay Tech High School. “I wasn’t the best player, but I was known for always outworking everyone. I would sometimes be called a gym rat because when everyone went home, I would stay and put more work in.”

Since this past year’s shift to virtual, Louissaint has connected with professors by making sure to go to office hours and with his peers by creating groups to check in on one another.

“I love meeting new people,” he says, “which is something a lot of people don’t know about me.” He hopes to finish this semester with straight “A”s, as well as gaining more knowledge from his entrepreneurship, psychology and motivational classes.

“I hope my legacy when I graduate is that everyone saw my failures and that I never gave up, keeping up the fight,” he says. “I wish my story helps others.”