Joseph-David Jean

Computer Science – Class of 2016

Joseph-David is the youngest of four children; their father died when Joseph-David was four, their mother died when he was 13. “Life after my parents’ death was very difficult,” he says. “Sometimes we only ate once a day and often the neighbors would have to help us.”His older brother worked as a tutor and did what he could to provide for the family, including scraping together enough money to pay Jean-David’s school fees through secondary school. Despite the economic and emotional hardships, Jean-David was a committed and talented student, particularly in math and science. He learned about HELP through a radio announcement, and jumped at the opportunity to continue his studies.

Today, Joseph-David is glad to be at HELP, not only because of the financial support, but also because of the program’s values and ideals. “I like that HELP’s leadership classes push students to be conscientious and responsible citizens,” he says. “It teaches us to be proud of our communities, but also to realize ways to change things for the better.” Joseph-David also enjoys English classes, where he has made great progress. “I’ve never had an English teacher who really encouraged me to speak before.”

Joseph-David hopes to use his degree to “help bring peace to my country through technology.” He dreams of finding ways to use technology to stop violence and gang problems, particularly in tough urban neighborhoods like the one where he grew up. Above all, he is passionate about staying in Haiti: “Educated people need to stay here in order to push for progress – we need to take responsibility for our
country.”