Christopher Jean-Pierre is a proud little brother. As his sister Karine takes the helm as the new White House press secretary, he reflects on the sacrifices his parents made to bring the family to the United States from Haiti in 1979.
“My mother is super... my father is super proud of that because they want the best for us. I don't know if they thought it was going to be at this level to where we're making a legacy and leaving our names behind in the history book,” said Christopher.
The Jean-Pierre family moved to Queens Village when Karine was five. Their father was a professor in Haiti but took a job as taxi driver here — their mom was a home health aide. Both worked long hours and Karine often took care of her younger siblings.
“She was able to multitask so much growing up and still be successful in what she wants to do. That's why when she got the position, I was so not just happy for her, but the government got an awesome person in that role,” said Christopher.
Karine got her start in government in Queens working for City Council member James Gennaro as the Director of Legislative and Budget Affairs. The hours were long — and it didn’t pay much.
The Columbia graduate later worked as a political commentator and strategist, she sometimes appeared on NY1’s Inside City Hall.
“She definitely had a dream. She had a vision on where she wanted to be,” said Christopher.
Christopher says during the pandemic she multitasked again. He’s a personal trainer and they teamed up for a siblings fitness challenge.
“This is my brother that you’re looking at Christopher Jean-Pierre. He is a physical trainer, he’s amazing love him so much,” said Karine, in a video shared on social media.
They promoted healthy lifestyles on social media. Both Karine and Christopher were athletes in high school.
"She played basketball good enough to beat me, which was like which used to kill me as a kid because I'm like, I can't let my older sister beat me in any sport because I was supposed to be the most athletic, but she would even beat me in that, too,” said Christopher.
And he believes that competitive edge sets Karine up for success, as does the hardworking values instilled by their parents.
“The sky is not the limit. You could go further than that. You could go past the sky. You could go to the universe and do whatever you want,” said Christopher.