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Both her father, Emile, and mother, Carmelle, were natives of Haiti. He left Haiti in 1958, she in 1960. They found work in New York, where Emile worked in a steel factory. Carmelle worked as a laboratory technician. Here, they gave birth to Mildred. Mildred grew up in the Bronx. She graduated from St. Barnabas High School, City College of New York, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Mildred Trouillot practiced commercial litigation for the Manhattan law firm of Robinson, Silverman, Pearce, Aronsohn, and Berman. She met Aristide at a lecture he gave in 1992. In 1994, she went to work for Aristide's government in exile in Washington, DC. She wrote speeches and did legal work for Aristide's government.
They married on January 20, 1996, in a simple ceremony in Port-au-Prince. It was a controversial marriage in Haiti. Aristide was elected President while he was a Catholic priest, and he had to abandon the priesthood to marry Mildred.