Dear Friend of the What If Foundation,
The journey to build and grow the Fr. Jeri School has been one filled with hope, perseverance and careful deliberation, as so many of you have witnessed and supported. Which makes moments like these all the more triumphant. A few weeks ago, the Fr. Jeri School celebrated its first graduating class!
All 11 high school graduates, many of them scholarship students with Na Rive since they were young children, wrote their final government exams with confidence and donned their caps and gowns with pride.
This final 13th year of school (called ‘Philo’ in Haiti) was the last to be added to the Fr. Jeri School curriculum, as Program Director Lavarice Gaudin wanted to make sure the school and staff were equipped to adequately prepare the students for success.
Official results won’t be in until late August, but all the graduates feel confident about passing. In the meantime, Na Rive is running training sessions to help them prepare for their next educational hurdle: the public university entrance exam. Spots and scholarships at the Université d’État d’Haïti are certainly scarce, with only 15% of applicants being accepted and a mere 1% of accepted students receiving a full scholarship by the State. And with a struggling job market, particularly in light of the current economic crisis, opportunities are few and far between. In spite of these challenges, Na Rive encourages students to keep moving forward and be ready to seize opportunity — whether it’s pursuing higher education, learning a trade, or starting their own businesses.
Fania Fleuranvil is one of the hard-working students graduating this year. She had been part of Na Rive’s external scholarship program since she was 5 years old and transferred to the Fr. Jeri School in 2016. She has two younger brothers at the school, and her father works at the Community Cafeteria, serving hot meals to the neighborhood children and families. Fania is bubbly and dedicated, and feels honored to be the first one in her family to be able to study and finish high school. Her dream is to keep studying so she can become a doctor and be of service to her community, a conviction she shares with many of her classmates.
Next year there will be 24 students in Philo preparing for their future. They’ll do so with the hope and confidence instilled in them by the Fr Jeri School, and in knowing that caring people like you are invested in their future.
Let’s help students like Fania and all Fr. Jeri School future graduates pursue their dreams by making a donation today.
Thank you for all you do to support the Fr. Jeri School students, and all the children of Ti Plas Kazo. None of it would be possible without your kindness and compassion.
With appreciation and hope,
Interim Executive Director