Fegens is one of eight children in a family that always valued education. With no schools in his hometown that offered instruction beyond the tenth grade, Fegens and a younger sister moved to Cap Haitian to live with an older brother in a single rented room.After graduating at the top of his class, Fegens was accepted to the State University of Haiti’s campus in Limonade, about 10 miles away. The family was able to scrape together enough money for the nominal enrollment fee, but then his father, who worked in a factory in the Dominican Republic, was injured on the job. Fegens’s mother, who grows rice that she sells in the local market, had to sell nearly all the family’s possessions in order to pay for the surgery her husband needed. With his parents no longer able to assist him financially, Fegens struggled to afford food and the $2.50/day bus fare to get to and from campus. Forced to drop out of university, things seemed hopeless until one of his former classmates, a current HELP student, encouraged Fegens to apply to the program.
With his room in a HELP dorm and his monthly stipend, Fegens can now devote all his energy to his studies. He chose to major in agronomy to improve production techniques for small farmers like his mother and address the problems of food scarcity that plague Haiti.
“I’m proud to be part of HELP!” says Fegens. “Not only because of the academic and financial support, but our mission of creating future leaders and a more just society really appeals to me. My dream is to become a professional who can contribute to a better future for myself, my family, and my community.”