Maureen Petit-Frere

Law – Class of 2018

Describing her life growing up, Maureen says, “We were a happy and tight-knit family. Though we lived modestly, my siblings and I always felt like we had a bright future.” Her father supported the family of eight children working as an engineer.But one day, when Maureen was 16, everything changed: her father had a breakdown, left the family, and lived on the streets, where he remains today. “It was like the entire world had collapsed around me,” she says.

Amazingly, Maureen was still able to maintain her high grades and academic scholarship, and graduated at the top of her class. “Losing my father this way changed my life forever,” she says. “But this experience has taught me that success depends upon strength of character, hard work, and a determination to keep moving forward.”

“HELP offers a space to live and study with other young people who are passionate and committed to becoming leaders in their communities,” Maureen says. She is studying law and hopes to improve the judicial system and fight corruption. “I want to use my education not only to realize my own dreams, but as a tool to improve the lives of others.”