Angélie Orelien

Medicine – Class of 2012

When Angélie was in eighth grade, she experienced a tragedy that would influence her direction in life. A very good family friend was seriously injured in a traffic accident. Unable to find the orthopedic care she needed in her hometown of Gonaives in northern Haiti, she had to take a public bus over 100 kilometers to Cap Haitien.The friend died on the long, rough route. “After that, I decided I’d study medicine to become an orthopedic surgeon,” Angélie says.

Now a medical student at the University of Notre Dame, Angélie is no longer sure about orthopedics, as she has developed an interest in endocrinology, another badly needed profession in Haiti. “I don’t think there are a lot of endocrinologists, especially in Gonaives,” she says. “And there are so many patients with glandular problems, like diabetes and overactive thyroid.”

Angélie says there’s no way she would have been able to go to Notre Dame without a HELP scholarship. She used to be able to take advantage of HELP’s English classes and other offerings, but now her medical program is all-consuming. “I’m very, very tired,” she says. She’s looking forward to finishing her studies and then starting an internship in her hometown.