Two recent ceremonies at HELP reminded us of the success that our donors support. In November we recognized students who made HELP’s honor roll for the 2014-2015 school year and celebrated the graduating class of 2015.
HELP’s honor roll recognizes students who have made the Dean’s List at their university, as well as maintaining a minimum average of 80% in their computer, English, and citizenship & leadership classes at HELP. Despite this extra workload, last year 68 students earned a spot on the honor roll for at least one semester, representing 44% of all eligible students! Honor roll students received books and were treated to a talk and a sing-along with popular Haitian singer Jean Jean Roosevelt, winner of Best Artist award at the 2013 Francophone Games.
“On the morning of HELP’s graduation,” Country Director Garry Delice writes, “I was still not sure it was going to happen. But despite all the rumors of strikes, burning tires and the threat of violence following the publication of election results, Fédorah stood firm. She told me, ‘Mr. Delice, we must do it.’
I arrived shortly before the ceremony knowing there was low expectation for turnout. Groups of old and new students and student ambassadors, with their HELP polo shirts, bustled to make the final arrangements. To my surprise I saw representatives from two companies who offer student internships, Haiti Nexus and Kouzin Dlo. Nathalie Brunet of Haiti Nexus, said ‘I cannot miss such an opportunity; HELP is where I find good employees.’
The guest speaker, economist Kesner Pharel, delivered a powerful speech. He encouraged graduates to be humble with their diploma because it symbolizes knowledge but is very small considering the rapid evolution of information these days, and he asked them to put their knowledge at the service of the community.”
Graduating senior Pharana Paul summed up the day by saying,” I realize how much I am indebted to God, my family and my HELP donors. Seeing the people here, I realize that the time has come for me to lay the first stones of change, first in my community, in my country and maybe the world.”