David is one of three children, raised in a small coastal town on a family income of $1,500 per year. David’s father is handicapped and cannot work so his mother, a seamstress, is the sole breadwinner in the family. In spite of this hardship, David excelled at school and only missed top ranking once, when he came in second.
As a HELP student, David is passionate about agricultural development, and is doing very well in his agronomy degree program while managing a demanding course load. He is glad to be living in HELP housing close to his university, and his living stipend has relieved the constant financial strain of his childhood. “I really don’t know where I’d be without HELP,” David says. “It would be nearly impossible to stay in Port-au-Prince and complete my studies.” He is also an active participant in HELP’s English and leadership classes, and says “I’m working hard to improve my English.”
Looking to the future, David is eager to put his advanced skills to work contributing to the economic advancement of his rural hometown. Growing up, he watched many farmers move to cities, driven to abandon their fertile farmland for over-crowded, under-developed slums because of the lack of rural economic opportunities. But David wants to be part of the generation to turn the tide, and is committed to making a difference. “Many Haitian governments have talked about ‘national production’ but none of them have carried out any concrete steps towards this goal,” he says. “But there are many agronomists and students who are working to make this a reality.”